During the most recent edition of The Week in Politics, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, challanged government Minister Leo Varadker over his claims about the deficit facing the government and the claims by right-wing politicians that austerity is necessary.
Today, Paul Murphy wrote to Leo Varadker pointing out the error in Varadker's claims using the government's own figures.
Murphy statedPaul Murphy continues"I asserted that the primary deficit for 2013 was, according to government figures, slightly over €3 billion. This is confirmed by the government’s ‘Medium Term Fiscal Statement’ from November 2012 ( http://tinyurl.com/aay5bhl ). The table on page 26 puts the General Government Primary Balance for 2013 at -€3,250 million, i.e. a primary deficit of €3.25 billion."The rest of the letter outlines that Ireland refused to pay the banking debt the government would have a surplus for investment in jobs.A separate figure is also given on that page of an ‘Exchequer Balance’ which gives a primary deficit in 2013 of €8 billion. Which figure is more accurate? Table 1c of the ‘Ireland – Stability Programme Update’ from December 2009 ( http://www.budget.gov.ie/budgets/201...inal%20SPU.pdf ) answers as follows:
“The General Government Balance (GGB) measures the fiscal performance of all arms of Government, i.e. Central Government, Local Authorities, Health Boards (prior to 2005 – their replacement, the HSE, is part of the Exchequer), Vocational Education Committees and non-commercial State sponsored bodies, as well as funds such as the Social Insurance Fund and the National Pensions Reserve Fund which are managed by government agents. It thus provides an accurate assessment of the fiscal performance of a more complete “government” sector.” (my emphasis) It seems to me to be clear that the figure of the ‘General Government Balance’ is the figure that should be used.
It will be interesting to see if Varadker attempts to repudiate the government's own figures or again buries his head up his rear end and continues with forcing working class people in this country to carry the can for the debts of private banks.
The letter can be found here - The Truth about the Deficit | Paul Murphy MEP