Paul Murphy’s Unpublished Letter to the Irish Times after criticism of him in their 29th of Feb Editorial
Paul Murphy’s letter written as a response to the Irish Times editorial of 29th of February which criticised the comments he made on the Fiscal Treaty. The Irish Times didn’t publish the letter.
As your editorial of 29 February suggested, there is already an attempt to encourage people to vote on issues other than the content of the the Fiscal Treaty before us. This attempt comes not from the Left opposition to the Treaty, but from the government and the establishment media. Exhibit A: that very editorial, which welcomes the Taoiseach’s description of it as an ‘essential building block in Ireland’s recovery’. Exhibit B: the Tanaiste’s suggestion that it is a vote for ‘economic stability and economic recovery and an ‘opportunity to go beyond casino capitalism’. Exhibit C: the Taoiseach’s statement that it is an ‘opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to responsible budgeting’.
Let us engage in a debate on the text. Article 3 provides for a structural deficit of a maximum of 0.5%. Ireland’s projected structural deficit in 2015 according to the Department of Finance will be 3.7%. To meet the target in one year (if the Commission was to demand it), would mean additional cuts and austerity of €5.7 billion. To meet the target over a number of years, would mean an extension of the grinding austerity that is already destroying lives and economies across Europe. It is not a Treaty for economic stability, it is a Treaty for synchronised institutionalised austerity across Europe.