Call for €3bn 'recovery fund'

Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 01:00

A €3 billion economic recovery fund should be created with finance from the National Pensions Reserve Fund, an independent think-tank said today.

In its Budget 2011 proposals, Tasc also said tax increases worth €2.8 billion to the economy including a 0.28 per cent property tax and a reduction in pension tax relief to the standard rate, should be introduced.

And it said €300 million could be found by cutting expenditure, including reducing consultancy fees by half, imposing restrictions on travel and subsistence and reducing support to private schools.

‘Investing in Recovery, Jobs, Equality’ outlines a strategy to reduce the country’s €19 billion deficit while creating the conditions for sustainable growth and job creation, the report from the equality think-tank said.

The proposed €3 billion economic recovery fund would be used to invest in proposals such as a loan guarantee scheme for small and medium businesses, costing €500 million and an extension of the existing PRSI exemption scheme for a further 12 months costing €36 million.

It would also be used to invest in education and training, research and development and in infrastructure upgrades including in the national broadband scheme and school building programme.