Tonight with #vinb: Plan B seems implausible

On Tonight with Vincent Browne, Alison O'Connor, Liam Twomey and Rory Hearne will be assessing Claiming Our Future's strategy - Plan B - released today. Vincent explains his take on Plan B ahead of the show. {jathumbnailoff}

The recreational Left (ie the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and their hangers on) hasn’t troubled itself with working out a plausible alternative economic and social strategy to the government’s austerity strategy and, as a consequence, the government has got a soft ride in the Dáil and elsewhere, faced by waffle and blustering.

It was hoped that Plan B, the new strategy inaugurated today by Claiming Our Future would be different. Regrettably, not so. Yes, fine on broad-sweep generalisations, poor on specifics.

It talks of an employment creation initiative of €15 billion over a five year period, financed by the state’s cash reserves, the National Pension Reserve Fund, private pension funds, a National Strategic Investment Bank, investment by AIB, funds from the European Investment Bank, plus EU Structural and Social Funds. It fails to address the issue of how successful a stimulus is likely to be in as open an economy as   Ireland   – the ESRI claims such stimulus would not work and would add significantly to the country’s debt burden. 

Aside from that, how likely is it that the EU would lend us funds outside the present rescue programme – not at all likely. As for an investment by AIB, AIB is still in distress and will itself require more state funding.

It proposes more taxes from income, yielding less than €1 billion. Since we have to adjust the fiscal deficit by €3.5 billion in 2013, where would that leave us?

Plan B seems as implausible as the plans of the recreational Left.

We'll be curating #vinb tweets and relevant links below. Refresh the page for updates.