Ireland can recover from the severe economic impact of Covid-19, according to Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath.
The Stability Programme Update from the Department of Finance projects Ireland’s economy will to shrink by 15.5% by the end of the year.
It is expected that Ireland will have a deficit of around 7.4% this year amounting to some €23 billion.
However, Cork South Central TD Michael McGrath believes Ireland can recover, albeit over a prolonged period.
“While we all hope for a v-shaped recovery where economic activity picks up significantly when restrictions are lifted, the reality is more likely to be a steady and more prolonged recovery period,” he said.
Deputy McGrath believes there are positives in that the cost of Irish debt remains low, but has said that Ireland will urgently need a new National Economic Plan.
“In the immediate term, it is critical that the working capital supports are maintained and enhanced to prevent businesses from needlessly failing,” he said.
He also called for the examination of the operation of the various working capital loan schemes and said that SME grants and loan guarantees need to be considered.
“As restrictions begin to recede, it will be critical that the State supports a high level of capital investment. This will both create jobs and stimulate demand in the economy,” Deputy McGrath said.
He added that European unity must be maintained and went on to say that a free trade agreement must be reached with the UK by December 2020. If that’s not possible, he said an extension to the transitional period is needed.
“Undoubtedly, Ireland faces a very challenging road ahead. Time and time again the Irish people have shown a capacity to deal with such adversity. While the future maybe daunting, I fully believe that our country has the capacity to meet the economic challenge that lies ahead,” concluded Deputy McGrath.