Speaking in response to reports that an EU-wide jobs pact may be agreed in advance of the May 31st referendum, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said that: “the Austerity Treaty is bad for jobs and bad for growth” and called for “the rejection of the Treaty and the adoption of a significant Irish and EU-wide investment programme.”
Deputy McDonald said:
“Sinn Féin has long argued for a major investment by the Government to get people off the dole and back into work. Last November we called for a €7 billion investment using monies available to the Government from the National Pension Reserve Fund and the European Investment Bank.
“Unfortunately our calls seemed to fall on deaf ears. Now the Government says it is in favour of stimulus. Many people are sceptical of the Government’s motives, believing that their recent talk of jobs is aimed at securing support for the Austerity Treaty.
“Sinn Féin will of course welcome any serious proposal aimed at generating employment. However the idea that you can have a serious investment programme side by side with the Austerity Treaty is simply nonsense.
“The extra €6 billion of cuts and tax increases arising from the Austerity Treaty will further damage the domestic economy. This will hurt the small and medium sized sector particularly hard leading to more job losses.
“At the same time the Austerity Treaty will lead to a Eurozone wide contraction as all 17 member states will seek to meet its harsh deficit targets. This will hurt our exports, already experiencing a decline.
“The Government is telling the voters that you can have austerity and investment in growth at the same time. This is simply not true. On May 31st we have a clear choice – if we want real investment in jobs and growth then we must reject the Austerity Treaty,”