Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Government Parties in Wicklow Running Scared of Treaty Debate

Wicklow Sinn Féin councillor John Brady has today accused Labour and
Fine Gael TDs and councillors in Wicklow of “running scared of a
public debate on the Austerity Treaty.” The comments come after they
where turned down an invitation to publicly debate the Treaty with
speakers from the No side including Sinn Féin and representatives from
the ULA.

Brady said “Following the announcement of a referendum on the
Austerity Treaty Anne Ferris of Labour and the three Fine Gael TDs in
Wicklow were contacted inviting them to debate the treaty at a public
meeting in Bray on the 8th May. Labour MEP Nessa Childers along with
Fine Gael and Labour councillors where also invited to participate in
the debate, unfortunately not one of them excepted the invitation.  A
public debate of this kind would give the general public the
opportunity to hear both sides of the argument"

Brady continued “Clearly the Labour Party and Fine Gael are running
scared of a public debate on the Austerity Treaty. The Austerity
Treaty will impose up to €6bn of additional austerity post 2015. This
means more cuts to health and education services and more taxes and
charges on low and middle income families. It is any wonder that
Deputies Anne Ferris, Andrew Doyle, Simon Harris and Billy Timmins are
reluctant to share a platform on this issue as doing so would require
them to justify these additional cuts. We had hoped to have three from
the No side and three from the Yes side, we had no problems getting
speakers from the No side and Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly had agreed
to represent the views of the government on the Yes side and try argue
for austerity"

“The Austerity Treaty is being supported Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna
Fail. However there is growing opposition to it in Ireland and across
the EU.

“Jack O’Connor the President of SIPTU, and a Labour Party member has
described the Treaty as, ‘the worst imaginable response to the
challenge of recession and stagnation’ that ‘will have a far reaching
effect on people’s lives across the EU by reducing pension provision,
cutting public services, eroding people’s rights at work and driving
down the cost of labour. Labour MEPs voted against much of the content
of this Treaty when it came before the European Parliament last
September, with former Dublin Labour MEP Proinsias de Rossa saying the
measures would, ““…kill growth, destroy jobs and derail economic

“And in France and Germany the labour party’s there do not support the
Treaty in its current form.

Cllr Brady concluded "Given all of this there is little surprise that
representatives from both the Labour Party and Fine Gael want to avoid
a public debate at which they would have to explain how more cuts and
higher taxes would lead us out of recession and create jobs. If this
strategy of cutting Billions from the economy worked we would be out
of this mess, the bottom line is Austerity does not work. We need to
stimulate the economy and invest in jobs, but unfortunately the
government would rather do it Frankfurt's way than standing up for the
Irish people and doing it Ireland's way"

"Sinn Féin will organise public meetings across Wicklow in the coming
weeks and the invitation to the Wicklow TDs, MEPs and councillors
remains open. Hopefully they will have the courage of their
convictions to debate the contents of the Treaty and its implications
for people in Wicklow"

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