Your gut is telling you to vote No - trust your instincts
OPINION:If you believe this treaty will mean more austerity and less democracy then vote No
WITH ONLY days left in the austerity treaty referendum campaign a large number of voters remain undecided.
Many of you know that this treaty is a bad deal for Ireland and for Europe. This is why the Government has been unable to give you a single positive reason to vote Yes.
Many of you know that there is nothing in this treaty that will stabilise the euro or address the causes of the currency crisis. This is why governments and parliaments across Europe, including in Germany and France, are refusing to ratify the treaty.
Many of you also know that the treaty, if ratified, will lead to more austerity and more powers being transferred to EU institutions. That is why your gut is telling you to vote No.
Many of you though are fearful of the potential consequences of a No vote because the Government keeps telling you that rejection of the treaty will result in economic collapse.
As you weigh up the arguments of both sides in this debate you are probably asking yourself whom should you believe. On Thursday, when you go to vote, trust your instincts. If you believe, as I do, that this treaty will mean more austerity and less democracy then vote No. The treaty will result in a significant increase in the level of austerity to be imposed after we exit the current troika programme in 2013.
The Department of Finance estimates that we will have a structural deficit of 3.5 per cent in 2015. The gap between this and the 0.5 per cent rule demanded in the austerity treaty is in the region of €6 billion. Bridging this gap will require further spending cuts and tax increases.
What will this mean for you and your family? It will mean more cuts to frontline services in health and education. It will mean more tax hikes and stealth charges like the household charge and VAT increase.
This will increase the level of financial hardship being experienced by you and your family. At a time when people are already pinned to their collar and telling the Government that they have nothing left to give, Fine Gael and Labour will come looking for more.
This extra austerity will also hurt the local economy. People will have less money in their pockets and will spend less on local goods and services. The domestic economy is already struggling. Retail has been hit particularly hard, resulting in loss of wages and jobs.
Wrenching another €6 billion from the domestic economy can only mean more job losses.
As if this were not bad enough, the austerity treaty seeks to enforce the same policy across the EU at the same time.
This means that key export markets for Irish companies will be shrinking at the very time we need them to expand. With export growth already performing poorly this year, the last thing our export sector needs is to close off such an important market.