Monday 25 September 2017

Sinn Fein's austerity claims false, says expert

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Sinn Fein's claim that the EU fiscal treaty will result in an extra €6bn worth of cuts and taxes was dismissed yesterday by a leading academic.

Gerry Adams has repeatedly claimed the balanced budget rule contained in the treaty will mean more austerity.

But UCD School of Law's Dr Gavin Barrett, an expert in European law, rejected this argument.

He said the country was far more likely to incur more cuts and taxes if it voted No.

Dr Barrett said the passing of the referendum would make "zero difference" to the obligations already on the country.

"It won't make any difference to the debt and deficit obligations," he said.

Without the fiscal treaty, the country would also have no new bailout, the academic said, as passing the referendum was linked to access to the new EU emergency fund.

Dr Barrett said the country will need to borrow €18bn in 2014. A No vote would raise the prospect of "the potential horror of a default", he said.

Irish Independent

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