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'We're being penalised enough . . . what other charges are going to come?'

OLIVIA O'Toole voted No to send a signal to the rest of Europe that we have been hit with enough debt already.

The 36-year-old from Tullamore, Co Offaly, who believes the treaty should be scrapped, said the austerity policies imposed on countries across the eurozone had not worked.

"I reckon it's time that we learnt to stand on our own two feet without Europe looking over our shoulder and telling us what to do," Ms O'Toole said.

"We have a choice and I believe we should be saying No.

"The rest of Europe are looking to see how we vote, and by voting No, it is giving us a chance to show to the Germans that we don't really like being dictated to.

"We're already in enough debt as it is and we don't want to be in any more."

Ms O'Toole bought a house last year in Co Offaly but lost her job as a Montessori teacher. She has been looking for work ever since.

She believes her home is worth less than what she bought it for, and is fearful of the impact of the slide into negative equity.

"I'm already in debt. I don't want to get myself into any more debt," she said.

"We're being penalised enough, I think, and we're tired of it.

"How do we know what other charges are going to come to households?

"There may be other things out there that they (the Government) haven't spoken to us about."

Irish Independent Supplement