The Government is today (Wednesday the 21st of October) inviting representatives from employer groups, unions, environment groups and non-governmental bodies to give their views on how Ireland’s economy can recover and prosper post-Covid and the Brexit transition.
The National Economic Plan will set the priorities and objectives for Ireland’s medium-term economic recovery. Budget 2021 was unprecedented in scale in the history of the State, reflecting the enormity of the challenges faced by businesses and individuals during the course of this year and into the immediate future. It has never been more important than now to plan ahead and set out a roadmap for a resilient, sustainable economy.
Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D. said:
The development of the National Economic Plan provides us with an opportunity to take stock and reflect. It will set the direction of travel for our economy, ensuring that the short-term responses to Covid-19 and Brexit are consistent with our longer-term goals. Notwithstanding the current high levels of uncertainty, we need to begin thinking about where we want our economy to be in 2025 and beyond. This stakeholder event is an important opportunity to look beyond the fog of uncertainty and start to reimagine a very different future, and to think about how we might best position ourselves for the new challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar T.D. said:
Ireland entered this pandemic from a position of strength. Our books were balanced and our economy strong. We are in the eye of the storm at the moment, but this crisis will pass and we need to plan now to make sure that when it does, we can recover quickly and rebuild a stronger, more resilient economy.
We have seen the impact Covid has had on existing trends, accelerating the pace of decarbonisation and digitalisation, which together will fundamentally transform the Irish economy. This Plan will embrace that twin transformation, setting out how we intend to respond in a fair, sustainable way, harnessing the opportunities these changes will bring and helping businesses and workers adapt. Education and ensuring we prepare our workers to have the skills to excel in the jobs of the future will be central.
With this Plan, we are accepting the challenges that lie on the horizon – the recovery post Covid and managing the future trading relationship with the U.K., but we are also determined to rebuild an Ireland that is more resilient than ever. This will be an investment led recovery. We will get back on track and when we do, we will be in better shape than ever before.
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D. said:
Following on from the Budget last week, the National Economic Plan is the next piece of the architecture for Ireland’s economic rebuilding.
Our response to the pandemic so far has been to provide important lifelines to workers and firms, as well as building up capacity within our healthcare system. As a nation, it is now time to start thinking about what the post-pandemic economy might look like, and Ireland’s place in it.
High levels of public indebtedness, an ageing population and a large carbon footprint are issues that need to be addressed.
The National Economic Plan will set out the challenges and opportunities that our economy will face in recovering from the pandemic and today’s forum is an important opportunity for all those who are engaged in the process to make their views know as we chart a course for Ireland’s future.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath T.D. said:
Ever since the arrival of Covid-19 on our shores earlier this year the Government has put in place supports to protect lives and livelihoods. Since the formation of this Government, my colleagues and I have put together an ambitious July Stimulus Package and the largest Budget in the history of the State. As we brace for the prospect of six weeks at Level 5 and all the restrictions that entails, the Government has once again stepped in to protect incomes, jobs and businesses.
At the same time, in a few short months our nearest neighbour is drastically altering its relationship with the EU and accordingly ourselves. In common with nations throughout the World, we continue to bear witness to the damage wrought by climate change and domestically, we continue to grapple with the housing crisis.
Ireland has persevered through great challenges in the past and I am certain we will do so again. Far beyond, however, the immediate challenges that we are presented with, we have to look further ahead and plan for what our economy and our society will look like post Covid-19 and post Brexit. The National Economic Plan offers the opportunity for us to do just that and to shape the recovery that will inevitably take place.
The Irish economy will recover but we have to ensure that recovery is one that is fair and sustainable.
Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. said:
Our economic recovery will work best when we are facing in the same direction and working in partnership. I'm looking forward to hearing unions, business, NGOS and others share their analysis and ideas about our future direction so they can help to shape it.
Over 200 stakeholders have registered to attend the virtual event today. The Plan is being structured around three themes: Building Resilience across Enterprise and Sectors; An Inclusive and Balanced Recovery and Future Proofing our Economy and Society.