Labour leader Alan Kelly announced the party’s new lineup of front bench of TDs and Senators this afternoon – with Louth and East Meath TD Ged Nash appointed as the party’s new spokesperson on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.
The new role will see Deputy Nash shadow Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath, the new Public Expenditure Minister, in Dáil Eireann. A former Minister for Business and Employment, Nash previously served as the party’s spokesperson for Employment and Social Protection.
Speaking today, Deputy Nash said, “I’m very pleased to have been asked to take on this important role and I can assure the new coalition government that I will provide robust but constructive opposition to government as we all work to get people back to work, support businesses and reshape our economy.
“The decisions the government will take in the next few weeks and months in terms of the July stimulus package, October budget and the proposed National Recovery Plan will dictate how successful or otherwise our recovery will be.
“My message to the government couldn’t be clearer. We need to dispense with traditional Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil conservative fiscal orthodoxy and do everything it takes to rescue jobs and reboot businesses and use the cheap, long term finance currently available to Ireland to invest in housing, public healthcare and other important elements of social infrastructure,” he continued.
“Now is not a time to cut back. It’s a time to invest, and in the coming weeks the Labour team headed by myself will propose a series of ways in which our recovery can be a social democratic, inclusive, green and sustainable one.”
Nash’s appointment as Labour spokesperson on finance comes days after Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster was named her party’s spokesperson for Media and Tourism, moving from her previous brief of Transport and Sport. Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd received the nomination for Leas Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil last week.
Labour leader Alan Kelly is the new party spokesperson on Health and Disability, while Senator Marie Sherlock takes up the spokesperson role on Employment Affairs with Sean Sherlock TD covering Social Protection – Nash’s two previous responsibilities.