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Losing the will to vote

• In the history of my short life and since it was legally all right for me to vote, I have voted -- in the drizzle, in the snow and in windy weather.

I have always given my vote. I felt duty-bound. I used to think of the 1916 leaders and all who fought for dear ol' Ireland, I was patriotic and emotional. I loved every inch of my country and thought that it was an act of treason not to vote.

This time around, I don't think at this moment in time I'll bother at all. I don't know whether Yes is the right way to vote and I don't know if No is the right way to vote.

The people of this country have been lied to so much through the years by governments that the truth is hard to come by. Maybe this treaty is all propaganda. Words are cheap to come by. I have no feelings or thoughts about this fiscal stability treaty at all and, my goodness, there are thousands like me who may not bother to vote either.

Yes, I do feel somewhat bitter that I have worked and paid taxes for all of 46 years and, like thousands of others, supported all those who were on the dole, by doing so year in and year out.

Now that it's my turn to get the miserable dole, I thought I could claim nearly €200 to help me keep the wolf from the door. I was rudely awakened to the fact that I was only to receive a miserable sum for all of my years working and trying to help others.

When the man from social welfare came to means test me in my home I'm almost positive that he docked me for having a cat and a dog. He probably thinks that they do the housework and prepare the meals for the table.

I won't say what else this Government would tax if given a chance, because it would be rude -- however, we all know what I mean.

So the leaflets continue to pop through the door. The Stability Treaty's stated aim is to promote conditions for stronger growth in the European Union.

It goes on and on. It sets agreed rules for government to provide for responsible budgeting. This allows for good housekeeping by governments when using public money with the aim of avoiding future economic and job crises.

Whoever sat down and wrote this on some dismal Monday morning is a boring old git -- it could have been written by anyone. Good housekeeping? Could our own Government help all those in dire straits with their housekeeping budgets by giving them more money through redundancy, social welfare payments, including the job-seeker's allowance?

It's about time we started looking after our own people, on our own doorstep.

With the money spent on banks and referendum booklets, a fortune could have been saved and, in turn, given to social welfare recipients.

Ms Terry Healy
Kill, Co Kildare

Irish Independent