Friday 30th April 2021
McDowell calls for Independent Examination of Covid response
In the Seanad today, Independent Senator Michael McDowell highlighted the need for a rigorous and independent examination of decisions made during the pandemic crisis.
While welcoming the re-opening roadmap set out by the Taoiseach this week, which he said “offered a sense of hopes raised, of increased confidence”, he noted that serious issues remained in relation to “Ireland’s unique vulnerability to pandemics because of our low level of ICU capacity.”
He called on the Government to engage in contingency planning now in case of further covid waves in the months ahead. He continued that:
“We now need to examine our whole approach to sectoral decisions and to analyse what we got right and more importantly what we got wrong. Did we need such a widespread shutdown of construction, of retail?”
He commented that the appraisal of these decisions cannot be carried out by NPHET, who advised on the decisions, but must be completed by an independent expert.
In dialogue with the Tánaiste, Senator McDowell also called for Minister Paschal Donohoe to cut the rate of Capital Gains Tax from 33% to 20% as part of a budget strategy to rebuild our economic strength.
Senator McDowell believes that a budget decision to cut CGT to 20% for at least 2 years would provide a valuable boost to our economic recovery after the pandemic crisis.