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Ex-Taoiseach urges Yes vote in upcoming EU referendum

FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton last night appealed for a Yes vote in the forthcoming EU fiscal treaty referendum to keep "spendthrift politicians" in line.

The date of the referendum is set to be announced today although Taoiseach Enda Kenny will not be present.

The date is expected to be confirmed for the last weeks of May or the start of June by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

Mr Bruton, who served as the EU's ambassador to the US, told a meeting in Malahide, Co Dublin, last night that the treaty would commit us to introducing permanent Irish laws to keep spendthrift politicians in line.

"The biggest dangers will be in the year before a General Election, and when the economy is booming. Part of our problem today is that we had unduly expansionary budgets in 2002, and 2007, just before the elections in those years. That temptation will arise again," he said.

Mr Bruton said that the previous Fianna Fail-led Government had agreed to permanent increases in pay, welfare and pension levels on the strength of revenue flows from the property boom that could not last.

Irish Independent