· Taoiseach attempting to mislead public about meaning of Fiscal Treaty
· No question that Treaty imposes onerous obligations of austerity
“The Taoiseach is attempting to deny the text of the Treaty when he claims that Ireland is not consigning itself to austerity into the future by signing up to this Treaty. Perhaps he is hoping for another pat on the head by President Sarkozy in exchange for getting this Austerity Treaty imposed in Ireland.
“He is attempting to mislead the public about the meaning of this Treaty because he doesn’t feel able to sell the reality of a Treaty that imposes austerity ‘of binding force and permanent character’. Article 3 of the Treaty is quite clear about the need for ‘rapid convergence’ towards a structural deficit of 0.5% or less. What this means in the real world is yet more savage cutbacks and austerity that will worsen the crisis in Ireland and across Europe.
“The Department of Finance’s own estimate for Ireland’s structural deficit for 2015 is 3.7%. To achieve the target of 0.5% in one year would mean cutbacks of €5.7 billion. Alternatively if the Commission gave us a longer time frame to achieve that target, which is not guaranteed, this simply means grinding austerity extended over years.
“Either way, this is a Treaty to impose years of austerity. This is being imposed to ensure the bondholders get their pound of flesh as is made clear by Article 4 which sets out a fast pace of repayment of debt that would also cripple the economy.”