Tuesday, 3 July 2018
I have heard the Deputy raise this question before. To be honest, I was a little surprised by his argumentation given his knowledge of what it is like to try to steer a country through a financial crisis. That is what Deputy Howlin had to do when he was Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and, by the way, I think he did it very well. People forget very quickly what it is like when nobody is willing to lend us any money and we have to access emergency funds. Fianna Fáil knows what that is like due to the failures of its policy, which resulted in the IMF having to come to Ireland to put emergency funding in place. It seems like we are a long way from there now.
Next year, we are planning to spend an extra €3.4 billion in terms of the kind of service delivery the Deputy is asking for in housing, healthcare, transportation, education and so on. That is a massive increase in expenditure in one year. We are seeing a dramatic increase in capital expenditure in particular because we know there has been a deficit in expenditure for nearly a decade now.