Group of economists urge No vote

 

Three economists have accused the Government of misleading people over the need for extra cuts and taxes in the event of a No vote in the fiscal treaty referendum.

Prof Terrence McDonough of NUI Galway insisted there would be “no disaster” in the event of the need for a second bailout. Prof McDonough argued recently in The Irish Times that the treaty made reform less, not more, likely.

“It is the adoption of the budget provisions of the treaty which is risky and dangerously experimental. Change is needed in Europe, but the fiscal treaty strategy is being adopted instead of these needed changes,” he said.

Prof McDonough was speaking at a press conference organised by the Campaign Against Austerity Treaty along with Dr Andy Storey of UCD and Michael Taft of the trade union Unite.

Dr Storey claimed that crucial aspects of Government policy would be taken away from the realm of democratic debate and into the hands of unelected technocrats and judges.

“A major reason for a No vote is to defend democracy…If the treaty is passed, the Government must introduce legislation concerning the ‘structural deficit’ and other aspects of austerity.”

He said if a future Government decided to repeal the legislation, it could be taken to court for altering economic policy.

Mr Taft accused the Government of “cynically raising expectations” of additional stimulus while planning to cut public investment by a third.

“The Government is misleading the public over the issue of how much extra austerity the fiscal treaty will impose on the economy,” he said.

According to the Campaign Against Austerity Treaty website, among the organisations that have signed up to the campaign include: the Communist Party; éirígí; the Peace and Neutrality Alliance; the Peoples Movement; Sinn Fein; the Socialist Party; the Socialist Workers Party; the Workers Party, and the United Left Alliance.