The Irish people will soon be asked to ratify The Fiscal Compact Treaty in a referendum, says South Tipp TD Seamus Healy, who says this treaty will impose permanent austerity, further cuts and tax rises in this country for decades after the EU/IMF programme ends in 2014.
It will also impose austerity on the whole of Europe ensuring a continuation of the Europe-wide recession, he says.
“The FG/Lab government have cynically agreed in advance that if the people do not vote “yes”, Ireland will not be able to borrow from a new fund called the ESM. Fortunately this measure can be vetoed by the Dáil after the referendum. This attempt to bully people into voting “yes” is, therefore, based on bogus grounds.
“After the fiscal deficit has been reduced to 3% of Gross Domestic Product in 2014, the Treaty requires the “structural deficit” to be reduced to 0.5% of GDP over a number of years. Economists such as Michael Taft (Unite the Union) and Tom McDonald (Tasc Research Group) estimate that this will require further cuts and tax rises amounting to 5.7 billion. After this figure has been achieved, the Treaty requires that Irish debt levels be reduced to 60% of GDP from the officially projected 120% over 20 years from 2018. This will require further cuts and tax rises amounting to 4.5 billion each year.
“This is an appalling vista for those now living and for generations to come. It cannot fail to close more businesses and to throw tens of thousands more on the dole.
“It must be remembered that because the Fiscal Compact is to be enshrined in an international treaty between governments, it cannot be reversed by the Irish people in the future by electing an alternative government or by referendum. It would constitute a major surrender of Irish sovereignty. How can the Labour Party even mention the name of James Connolly while advocating such a Treaty?