World Economy

EU Rules Could Hurt Investment in Ireland

EU Rules Could Hurt Investment in IrelandEU Rules Could Hurt Investment in Ireland

Ireland is being warned that EU rules could be hampering essential investment.

In its latest quarterly Economic Outlook, business group IBEC says the economy is performing well, with a return to more consumer spending and predicted GDP growth of 5% this year, NewsNow reported.

But it wants the government to set aside an additional €1 billion in the budget for vital infrastructure, including transport and broadband.

“We’re particularly concerned that the new EU fiscal rules on government expenditure are actually retarding that ambition around future investment,” said IBEC’s head of policy and chief economist, Fergal O’Brien.

“The government really needs to go and talk to the European Commission, and get concessions around investment expenditure in the economy. The rules make sense for controlling day-to-day tax and expenditure, but not for investment.”

He said investment in the rail, road and broadband networks would guarantee sustainable economic growth into the future.

IBEC is also defending its calls for tax cuts and massive spending increases as “responsible”.

It comes after IBEC forecasted economic growth of 5.3% for 2015, and predicted that unemployment will fall below 9% by the year’s end.

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that Greece urgently needed help to cope with 1,000 migrants arriving each day and called on the European Union to step in before the humanitarian situation deteriorates further.

More than 77,000 people have arrived by sea to Greece so far this year, more than 60% of them Syrians, with others fleeing Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia, it said.

“The volatile economic situation, combined with the increasing numbers of new arrivals, is putting severe strain on small island communities,” William Spindler of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees told a briefing.