Accountants divided over fiscal treaty

Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 01:00

ALMOST FOUR in 10 members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA) are undecided as to how they will vote in the upcoming referendum on the European fiscal treaty.

Some 90 per cent of the 623 CPA accountants surveyed by the institute said they supported Ireland’s continuing membership of the euro zone, with just 12 per cent indicating that they planned to vote against the treaty.

However, almost 40 per cent said they were undecided, with only 7 per cent believing the Government was doing enough to inform the public about the consequences of both a Yes and a No vote.

Half of the accountants surveyed said they intended to support the referendum, with most of this group citing an improved relationship with the European Commission and access to bailout funds as reasons for a Yes vote.

But fewer than half of the Yes respondents agreed with the suggestion that passing the referendum would result in more jobs and investment for Ireland.

Most No voters believed that passing the referendum would result in a decrease in Irish sovereignty and harsher austerity measures.

Some six in 10 of all respondents indicated that they believed Ireland would need a second bailout, while almost nine in 10 said the Government was not doing enough to educate the public on the referendum.

CPA president Gail McEvoy said the feedback from its members illustrated the “ambiguity that exists in the public discourse” about the treaty.

“It is imperative that the Government takes the appropriate steps now to fill this vacuum with accurate and impartial information to assist voters in making a decision,” she said.