Fianna Fáil should make it their New Year’s resolution to back legislation on responsible political spending promises, according to Fine Gael Chairman and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight, Martin Heydon. Deputy Heydon is calling on Fianna Fáil to support his Dáil Private Members Bill which would expand the powers of IFAC to examine opposition spending demands in the advance of each budget.
Deputy Heydon said: “Reports in today’s media suggest that Fianna Fáil will put forward a very slimmed down election manifesto with restricted spending increases to try to build an image of responsibility.
“This comes after a year of reckless spending demands from Fianna Fáil.
“Fianna Fáil seem to be trying to convey that they are turning their back on their reckless approach of promising all things to all people. I wonder is this a temporary move in advance of an election or will they commit fully to responsible politics?
“Will they finally come around to supporting my legislation designed to ensure that opposition spending demands are scrutinised by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) ahead of every budget.
“Last year, Fianna Fáil made spending promises to all and sundry, amounting to a massive total of €4.35 billion of additional spending commitments in the first six months of 2019 alone, without any explanation as how they would fund this huge increase.
“My Private Members Bill would see the legislative powers of IFAC expanded to allow them to examine opposition spending demands in advance of each budget. This should curb lavish and irresponsible opposition promises that don’t stack up, like we saw with Fianna Fáil recently. If they really are moving away from this type of politics let’s see them support this legislation on the floor of the Dáil,” Deputy Heydon concluded.