Coalition to set out six-year strategy for investors
Noonan plans campaign to court financial market participants
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I know there are people in the Opposition parties and they’d love if Ireland failed, because they’re building their party - Sinn Féin are building a party - on the prospect of a failed economy,” he told reporters yesterday.
The Government will present international investors with a six-year economic strategy as it leaves the bailout next month, an initiative specifically designed to boost debt market confidence in the exit plan.
The strategy, which will guide economic policy up to the next election and beyond, is likely to be published on December 16th, the day after the EU/IMF rescue comes to an end.
Although the 2014-2020 strategy document is still in preparation, its core aim will be to foster an increase in job creation and break down barriers to economic growth and the development of new companies.
Following the Government’s decision to go it alone on markets without the benefit of an emergency credit line, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan now plans a new campaign to court financial market participants.
The Minister travels to London in the first week of December to meet sovereign debt investors and meetings in New York are scheduled in late January.
His objective as he embarks on the roadshow to set out the Coalition’s recovery plan for the economy. This will be fleshed out in the strategy document, which will provide a roadmap for a further round of structural reforms after the conclusion of the troika programme.
In Jersey yesterday as British-Irish Council met, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the exit plan was “uncluttered and shows the courage of the Irish people.”
The new strategy will follow on from “invasive, deep analysis” of the bailout, he indicated.
“The message we want to send out is that there is no change in attitude from the Government, we are going to continue to make decisions and move on and build on the progress that we have made with our people for better times ahead.”
With the troika’s departure imminent, it is recognised in official circles that a concerted and ongoing Government effort will be required in the wake of the bailout to consolidate the return to private markets and ensure it is durable.
Mr Noonan was in upbeat mode in Brussels after two days of talks with EU counterparts, rubbishing Opposition concerns about the fragility of the recovery.
“I know there are people in the Opposition parties and they’d love if Ireland failed, because they’re building their party - Sinn Féin are building a party - on the prospect of a failed economy,” the Minister told reporters .
“But the Irish economy is not going to fail. We have strong banks and we’ll make them stronger.”
Even though Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan said on Thursday night that he could not rule out the possibility of more taxpayers’ money being required for the banks at some point, Mr Noonan dismissed the notion that stress tests next year could reveal capital shortfalls in the Irish lenders.
“There isn’t a shred of evidence that there’s any additional capital requirement in the Irish banking system.”
While the post-bailout economy will be the subject of two annual inspections by the EU authorities for many years to come, Mr Noonan does not expect the same level of instrusive scrutiny seen during the bailout. “It will simply be providing them with information , which we publish anyway.”
Separately, Berlin knocked back Irish speculation that German political concerns had a bearing on the decision to leave the bailout without a safety net.
In spite of claims by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath and ESRI economist John FitzGerald, German officials and politicians insisted they had not influenced the Irish decision.