Government 'lying' over treaty


The Government has been accused of lying through its teeth over the state of the country’s finances ahead of the fiscal treaty referendum with the United Left Alliance (ULA) saying the State’s deficit could fall to €3.1 billion next year if bank debts are not paid.

Speaking in Dublin today, ULA finance spokesman Richard Boyd Barrett said the Government’s own deficit figure of €18 billion includes re-payment of bank debt and other interest on debt.

“Obviously, if the EU cut off funding to us we would not be making those re-payments and the actual gap between income and expenditure would then only be €3.1 billion,” he said.

“This is a gap that could easily be filled and more by increasing income tax on those earning over €150,000 per year and by imposing a modest wealth tax on the wealth and assets of the wealthiest 5 per cent of the population.”

Three recent opinion polls revealed a 60/40 split in favour of the fiscal treaty among Irish voters who go to the polls on Thursday.

More than 3.1 million people are eligible to vote when polls open nationwide on Thursday. However, less than 60 per cent of those eligible turned out for the Nice and Lisbon treaties.

Voting got under way on the islands off the west coast yesterday, with residents on Inisturk, Inisbiggle and Clare Island going to the polls today.

In a last bid to swing the undecided to the No side, Mr Boyd Barrett argued the Government was lying through its teeth and would have the money to pay nurses, pensions and social welfare next year.

“We just wouldn’t have the money to pay-off bankers’ gambling debts and debt interest,” he added.