Treaty vote is 'property of people'

Thu, May 24, 2012, 01:00

TAOISEACH'S SPEECH:TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has described the fiscal treaty referendum as the “property of the people” and said a Yes vote would ensure no government could “run riot with the people’s fortune”.

Speaking at the Chartered Accountants of Ireland Leinster Society lunch in Dublin, he said he welcomed the support of 14,000 chartered accountants around the country. The society is backing a Yes vote.

“It’s important to understand how critical this decision actually is because it goes beyond the next general election and beyond the lifetime of the next government, because this is about our people and about our country,” the Taoiseach said.

“The referendum is the property of the people and the people will have the last say,” Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach said if the people voted Yes, the Government would introduce the conditions attached to the treaty in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will be debated in the Dáil and the Seanad before becoming law.

“It’s important to understand that as a country in a programme … we must be able to continue the certainty and the decisiveness and the clarity that investors in our country require before they make their decision.”

Mr Kenny said foreign direct investment decisions were being announced because of the “package” Ireland offered, “of tax, technology, talent pool and track record”.

He described it as “a virtually unbeatable proposition”, adding that Ireland was the only English-speaking country in the euro zone.

Another reason to ratify the treaty was in case the country ever required access to the European Stability Mechanism, a separate piece of legislation, which he described as “an insurance policy for the future”.

He added: “You don’t have to take my word for this, because the independent chairman of the Referendum Commission has cleared this beyond yay or nay, absolutely objectively for every person in the country.”

Mr Kenny said the State had always been a strong supporter of “good housekeeping”.

The Fiscal Responsibility Bill would ensure that no government would ever be able to “run riot with the people’s fortune”.

He said the European Union had the potential to be “the engine of world trade”.