Brexit will require change in Government spending
Minister for Public Expenditure tells MacGill School Government will pursue value for money
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: “Money will only follow the services and the projects that are worthy of funding.” Photograph: North West Newspix
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has said.
The Minister told the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, that the Government had a contingency plan to deal with the UK leaving the EU and was “acutely aware of the risks that Brexit poses and are taking the steps to ensure we are shielded as much as is possible from its effects”.
He said: “Our preparedness for Brexit, however, is about more than just contingencies and plans. It also involves a root and branch change of the culture of Government spending.”
He said the impact of the banking and economic collapse on the people of Ireland cannot be overstated. “Lessons have been learned and there is now a new culture of public spending. Now and in the future, we will ruthlessly pursue value for money with reforming zeal,” he said. “Money will only follow the services and the projects that are worthy of funding.”
The Minister said Brexit had created a new “national question”. “The previous question asked where our national borders should be and government within those borders. A new national question asks how we interact with a globalised world and wider union – the European Union. ”
Mr Donohoe spoke of how Brexit would have been calamitous had it happened during the economic crash. He said, however, that “the prudent economic and fiscal policies implemented over recent years have placed Ireland in a stronger position to weather this shock”.
The Minister said that “those of us in the political centre must redouble our efforts to heal our fractured country and ensure that everyone feels that they are a full part of the society in which they live”.