ULA links treaty to higher water charges


UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE:A YES vote in the forthcoming fiscal treaty referendum would lead to higher water and property charges and more austerity, the United Left Alliance (ULA) has said.

The alliance launched its campaign calling for a No vote in Dublin yesterday.

Socialist TD Joe Higgins called on voters to “send a rocket across the bows of Government” and say that they can “endure no more austerity”.

The ULA’s campaign posters, with the slogan “No to home and water charges”, were “absolutely accurate”, he said.

Home and water charges were “organically linked to austerity policies”, he said. The fiscal treaty would institutionalise austerity and mean a “massive increase in those taxes among other hardships and cuts”, he said.

There was “nothing dishonest or disingenuous about us making the connection”, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said.

If the Government was saying the treaty was needed for a second bailout then it was “not a big jump” to say the second bailout would require the same property and water charges as the first, he said.

A rejection of the “austerity treaty” would make it clear that the Government had “no mandate” for the household and water charges, Socialist MEP Paul Murphy said.

Mr Higgins described as “barefaced” arrogance the campaign posters of Government parties using slogans about jobs and investment.

These were similar to 2009 Lisbon Treaty campaign about jobs and investment which the Government has “manifestly failed to deliver on”, he said.

During the Lisbon campaign the Yes theme was to be “at the very heart of Europe” but now the threat was that “they’ll want to kick us out into the mid-Atlantic”, he said.

Mr Boyd Barrett said that Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore was guilty of “doublespeak”.

“The Government posters talk about investment when what we’re getting is cuts. They talk about jobs when what we’ve got is mass unemployment,” he said.

The “fairytale economics of the Government” tried to talk up a situation that was “getting worse precisely as a result of the austerity policies they now want to enshrine in the treaty”, he said.

The ULA was also critical of warnings by senior Government Ministers that a No vote would exclude Ireland from availing of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Mr Higgins described as “shameful” that the Government was using an “anti-democratic threat” of not being able to access ESM funding to “coerce people to vote” rather than the merits of the treaty.

The Government could veto the clause blocking access to the ESM, Mr Higgins said.