Noonan says multinationals will leave if Ireland votes No
FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan insisted yesterday that the next two Budgets would be more "austere" if Ireland voted against the EU's fiscal treaty on May 31.
Rejecting claims that he was trying to scare the voters into backing the treaty, he said a No vote would stymie growth, sever access to the eurozone's bailout fund and cause overseas investors to flee the country, making EU deficit targets tougher to achieve and leading to more severe cutbacks.
"The pretence that a Yes vote is a vote for austerity and that a No vote is a vote for a soft option is simply not true," he told reporters in Brussels.
"As a matter of fact, for next year's Budget and the one after, the contrary is the true position," he said.
"If there's a 'No' vote it will create uncertainty, it will create a lack of confidence in the economy, and it will have an effect on investment decisions, both external and internal."
He added that American and other foreign multinationals would pull out of Ireland because they would no longer see the country as a base for "selling into Europe".