Mr George Lee exTD on economic policy for Ireland

George Lee phoned RTE to say that he never said what is in the Sunday Independent.

In the Sunday Independent on 14 February on Page 2, Daniel McConnell reports on “policies that FG ignored revealed by Lee — Ex-TD says ditch euro, slash corporation tax.

He claimed that

  • Lee says that the government plan to reduce debt (to <3%) of GDP by 2014 will crucify the economy and we should ignore our deficit in the short term.

Bill says – It is unlikely that we will reach the target in that time. Ireland will borrow €18 billion this year. That €18 billion is a stimulus in itself. If we showed signs of weakness now, the bond markets would cripple us. Just look at Greece.

  • Lee wants to leave the Euro and reinstate our own currency and manage our own deficit, monetary policy and interest rate.

Bill says – Read the post on David McWilliams, interest rates, national debt, bond markets and the impracticality of this course of action. It would have devastating social consequences in the short term because Ireland would have to ratchet up the interest rate (coupon) on bonds and pay an accelerating interest dividend per year as a direct result of devaluation. Fine Gael should ask the Central Bank to test the reinstatement of the Punt in its computerised economic models. Cut corporation tax to raise more money

Bill says – Good idea.

  • Lee says – Introduce a stimulus package to help create jobs

Bill says – Fine Gael already has such a policy NewEra Plan which involves 105,000 jobs and €18 billion investment. It would be astonishing if Mr Lee does not know that. Check “Tackling the jobs crisis” on the Fine Gael website updated to February 2010.

As the great Mohammed Ali said to the other George Foreman “Is that all you got George?”! If the Sunday Independent is wrong or inaccurate, what are your policy platforms Mr Lee?