Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.26 3 Apr 2020


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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says the Government is already looking at options to accelerate the recovery of the Irish economy after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

He believes continuing to invest in homes, public transport and fighting climate change as planned will have to form a crucial part of the recovery of the country and economy.

It comes as a bulletin from the Central Bank suggests Irish GDP could decline by 8.3% this year.

In this scenario, the unemployment rate could rise to around 25% in coming months.

And there are concerns over the exports of Irish firms, which are likely to be "adversely affected" by the sharp decline in external demand.

Minister Donohoe told Newstalk Breakfast he is looking at ways to accelerate the economy once the outbreak passes.

"While I'm clear in acknowledging the scale of anxiety and worry that is now caused by the Live Register figures, I'm also very clear that we can create a new economy and that our country can economically recover from this".

"What will be an important factor is how quick our export markets begin to recover - because our country selling goods and services abroad is a really important ingredient in how our economy performs overall.

"We're already looking at lots of different options regarding how we would be able to accelerate a recovery when we get to that point".

But Minister Donohoe said any recovery has to focus on key areas.

"If you define investment as how, for example, we can invest in more homes, invest in responding back to climate change, invest in public transport - I'm connived that has to be a really important feature of our recovery plan.

"If we cut back in expenditure in those areas, not only does it undermine the ability of our economy to recover [but] we also fail to meet social needs that were there before COVID-19 and are there during COVID-19.

"So that kind of investment will have to form a crucial part of the recovery of our country and our economy.

"What we will need to consider is there are many, many emergency measures that are in place now that - when the public health emergency changes - will need to be revised and changes.

"For example, we have a massive income subsidy scheme in place that is now supporting over 34,000 companies.

"And when the public health guidance changes, that's the kind of scheme that will need to be revised and to change".

Donohoe: Coronavirus recovery must focus on key areas

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Climate Change Coronavirus Economic Recovery Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Housing Ireland Newstalk Breakfast Paschal Donohoe Public Transport Recovery

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