Kenny warns of consequences for funding if treaty rejected

Sat, May 26, 2012, 01:00

CAMPAIGNS CLASH:UNKNOWN CONSEQUENCES await Ireland if the fiscal treaty is rejected, Taoiseach Enda Kenny warned.

Speaking in Midleton, Co Cork, yesterday, Mr Kenny denied suggestions the referendum wouldpass comfortably and again urged a Yes vote on Thursday.

“There’s nothing ever in the bag as regards politics,” he said.

The Taoiseach said backing the treaty would lead to continued investment in the country and a guarantee of access to further funding, while the consequences of voting No were unknown.

He claimed the best solution for Ireland would be for its people to pass the referendum.

“There’s an instinct about the Irish people that the right thing to do is to vote Yes . . . we are fully funded until the end of 2013 a Yes fund guarantees access to a permanent fund beyond that. A No vote clearly doesn’t.”

The Labour Party took the fight to the No campaign when deputy director of elections Dominic Hannigan and other TDs erected posters outside Sinn Féin’s offices on Parnell Square, Dublin.

The posters are meant to highlight Sinn Féin’s track record of getting it wrong when it comes to big decisions.

Campaigners urging a No vote warned of the effects on services provided by local authorities if the treaty is passed.

Ten councillors who back the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes gathered at a press conference in Dublin to urge a No vote.

Independent Sligo councillor Declan Bree said the treaty will lead to more than €6 billion in extra taxes and cutbacks.

“This will impact greatly on the provision of local services,” said Mr Bree, a former Labour TD.

Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger said even if the treaty was passed, people would continue to oppose austerity measures.“Win or lose in the referendum there will be a battle in the autumn against the household tax and against water metering, and I can guarantee that you haven’t seen anything yet because people simply will not be able to sustain such burdens,” she said.

Elsewhere, the Communist Party said Ireland should borrow money from sovereign wealth funds rather than return to the markets or European Stability Mechanism for a future bailout.

The party is advocating a No vote and said there are several examples of countries repudiating their debts and accessing money from sovereign wealth funds.

Party secretary Eugene McCartin said the Icelandic government was accessing money from the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund having told the UK and Netherlands it would not pay back bank debts.

In a similar fashion, Cyprus had accessed emergency funding from the Russian sovereign wealth fund to deal with a financial crisis.

He said the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, the largest holder of American government debt worldwide, the Russians, Norwegians and various Middle East funds could be tapped for money if Ireland rejected the bank debt and the stability mechanism for future funding. “We can negotiate with these people and get better terms,” said Mr McCartan.