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Monday 25 September 2017

A quarter of people would take pay cut to save euro

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Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

MORE than one in four Irish people would accept further cuts to their incomes in order to salvage the euro, according to a new opinion poll.

Some 27pc of those surveyed said they would accept cuts to their pay, pensions or welfare payments in the interests of the single currency.

The poll, carried out by Red C, suggests that Irish people feel more attached to the euro than some eurosceptics believe.

When asked whether they would be willing to accept income cuts in order to ensure the continued existence of the euro, 69pc said 'no'.

However, a surprising 27pc, the majority of whom live in Dublin and belong to higher social classes, said they would accept further cuts.

The poll was carried out during mid-December, around the time Ireland exited the bailout. It was commissioned on behalf of the People's Movement Group in Ireland, which claims that a "democratic deficit" exists among the EU structures.

Over 1,000 people were asked about their views of the euro currency and other EU-related issues during the week of Ireland's exit from the bailout.

According to the poll, two-thirds of the public are unaware of future changes in EU rules, which relate to the voting powers of member states.

From November 1, 2014, a new system imposed by the Lisbon Treaty will see member states vote according to their populations. This will mean that Ireland will have a much smaller vote than the likes of France and Germany.

The Red C poll found that just 33pc of respondents were aware of this change.

President of the People's Movement Group, former MEP Patricia McKenna, expressed concern that such a large majority were not aware of changes to the voting system.

AWARENESS

"The reason we commissioned this poll is because we felt there was a lack of awareness," she told the Irish Independent. "We would put that down to, not that the public aren't interested, but that there is a deliberate attempt and a political strategy by the Government and the political establishment to keep people in the dark."

Artist Robert Ballagh, who is a patron of the People's Movement in Ireland, said he was concerned about the so-called 'democratic deficit' in the EU.

"What this poll has shown is that the vast majority of Irish people are totally unaware that this is going to happen next November -- that our power and influence in the council of ministers, which is the really significant area for decision-making in Europe, is going to be halved."

Irish Independent

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