As the date for the EU referendum is set to be announced the people of Ireland are left with a big decision and the ULA and the socialist party our sister organization in Ireland is calling for a no vote to reject austerity and fight for an alternative to the crippiling cuts agenda the government is forcing on ordinary working families.
This Treaty is designed to ensure countries service their debt, including private bank debt that has been taken on as sovereign debt – irrespective of the social consequences. The financial crisis caused by bank speculation has led to a collapse in the real economy and a rise in debt relative to output. But the German and French governments, and the ECB, are demanding that the big banks of Europe be protected. They insist that social spending and state investment in the real economy be cut in order to guarantee that the banks get paid.
Paul Murphy MEP said:
The household tax is the first of a raft of taxes that this government will attempt to impose to meet its budget targets for the coming years: €7.2 billion cuts and taxes up to 2015 – followed by up to €5.7 billion if the rules of the Austerity Treaty were imposed in Ireland under current circumstances. We reject this austerity drive: cuts and taxes being imposed on our people in order to support the gambling debts of the banks – debts which are being taken on as sovereign debt. This is not our debt and we call for an end to the payment to all such bank-related debt.
Clare Daly said:
Contrary to the assertions of government ministers, this Treaty would lead to more economic instability. There has been a collapse of private investment in the Irish economy – €32 billion of profits were uninvested in 2010. In the face of this, the Treaty would force Irish governments into more cuts and tax increases, further reducing economic activity and reducing the capacity of the state to service debts. The choice being made is to support the banks, while continuing to drive down living standards and abandoning our people to unemployment, poverty, and declining services.
Joan Collins said:
The Treaty would turn elections into a total sham. It demands that austerity – deficit and debt reduction – be set into our legislative framework with ‘binding force’ and ‘permanent character’. It would be for the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to decide if a country was implementing the Treaty. So no matter what government was elected, or what mass protest movements demanded, budgetary policy would be in the hands of these unelected EU institutions. We reject this denial of democracy – in which a government would be forced to protect the interests of a tiny elite at the expense of the welfare of millions.
Seamus Healy said:
The scaremongering of the government and its supporters – that rejecting of the treaty will lead to us being kicked out of the EU or eurozone – is a lie. Ireland will remain part of the EU and eurozone, but will not support the austerity drive. Nor will Ireland be isolated. A “no’ vote would be a vote for an alternative to the EU policy of protection of the millionaires at the expense of the millions – a vote to link up with people all over Europe who want a decent future and sustainable development.
The ULA calls for a full public debate on the Austerity Treaty. We also hope that the trade union movement will facilitate a full debate amongst their members, who will be adversely effected by the continued austerity required under this Treaty. We will work to maximise a ‘no’ vote and to mobilise for a socially progressive, sustainable alternative to the politics of the Austerity Treaty.
Joe Higgins said:
The government’s only argument to support the Treaty is the Blackmail Clause. This says that Ireland won’t get money for a second ‘bailout’ from the ESM fund if we don’t approve the Austerity Treaty. Fine Gael and Labour agreed to put this Blackmail Clause into the ESM Treaty and the Austerity Treaty. But they also have the power to get it out, because Ireland has a veto over the amendment to the Lisbon Treaty required to bring the ESM into being. If they want a free and honest debate on the Austerity Treaty, they could veto the amendment to Lisbon required for the ESM until the Blackmail Clause is removed. At a minimum, we call for decisions on the ESM Treaty to be put back until after the referendum on the Austerity Treaty.