Greens criticise Summer Economic Statement for excluding environmental challenges

Published by David Hayden on

July 14th, 2017

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, expressed concern yesterday that the Summer Economic Statement makes no mention of the environmental challenges which Ireland faces.

Deputy Ryan went on to criticise the focus on “abstract economic growth figures” stating that they were not linked to “real improvements in the quality of our lives”.

The failure of the statement to address environmental challenges, in addition to its failure of to link economic growth targets to improved quality of life measures, equates to a lack of strategic vision, according to the Green Party leader.

The 38-page Statement, which set out the key elements of the Government’s economic strategy, was published by Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD on 11 July.

The statement is an integral part of the reformed budgetary process that facilitates a discussion of the options in advance of the annual Budget to be held in October.

The document’s mention of sustainable development relates only to sustainable economic growth. While improved economic circumstances are certainly desirable, the government has also made clear commitments to ensuring environmental sustainability.

It is disappointing that the task of meeting Ireland’s climate-change obligations does not figure prominently within this statement, the Green Party stated.

Furthermore, Eamon Ryan expressed disappointment that the opportunities becoming available to the Irish economy, such as adopting the digital, clean-energy and transportation revolutions, were also absent from the statement.

Abstract economic growth figures cannot be the only measure of success, there are both challenges and opportunities which will need to be addressed before the budget next October.

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David Hayden

David is a contributor to the Green News. He has a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and French from UCD as well as a Master's Degrees in French literature and New Media from the University of California at San Diego and the Johns Hopkins University.