“I am calling for a massive No vote and rejection of this Treaty. The Fiscal Treaty will institutionalise austerity in law in Ireland and across Europe. By restricting a country to running a structural budget deficit of no more than 0.5% of GDP, it essentially outlaws all forms of expansionary fiscal policy. If the Commission was to demand that Ireland’s meet that target in 2015, that would mean an additional €5.7 billion worth of cuts. If there is a longer time-frame to meet that target, it simply means an extension of austerity that will also devastate people’s lives and the economy.
“It is beyond ironic that the Tanaiste has described it as an opportunity to go beyond ’casino capitalism’. This is a Treaty for those who benefit from casino capitalism – the bondholders, bankers and speculators. The debt reduction provision in the Treaty amounts to a legal requirement to pay back over €4billion in principal debt repayments after 2014 per year, on top of interest payments that will be at €8 billion. This is a Treaty for the bondholders and the speculators who caused this crisis.
“What’s more, this Treaty represents a fundamental attack on the democratic rights of people. By tying the hands of future governments and ruling out any form of economic policies other than neo-liberalism and austerity, it is removing a vital democratic right of people to elect a government with economic policies of their choosing. It also transfers yet more power to the unelected European Commission and Council from elected governments.
“The government must not engage in scaremongering about this Treaty. The question is not whether Ireland will stay in the Euro or the EU. The question is whether we sign up to an Austerity Club. This is people’s opportunity to reject austerity at the ballot box and strike a blow for those suffering under the reign of the Troika’s austerity across Europe.”