Doherty challenges Noonan to produce figures
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has today challenged Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to “produce his figures on the cost of a Yes vote in the Austerity Treaty referendum”.
The challenge comes as the Government rejected Sinn Féin’s claim that a Yes vote on May 31st will lead to an additional €6 billion fiscal consolidation post 2015.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Government has a responsibility to explain to people the cost of a Yes vote. If the Treaty is passed we will have to reach a structural deficit of 0.5% after we exit the current Troika austerity programme in 2015.
“According to the Department of Finance’s own Spring Forecast published last week the structural deficit in 2015 will be 3.5%. The gap between this figure and the new 0.5% rule is equivalent to approximately €6 billion.
“The Government has a responsibility to explain to the voters where they will get this money from. Is it their intention to further increase the tax burden on low and middle-income families? Is it their intention to cut even more funding from front line education, health and community services?
“If the Government does not accept Sinn Féin’s figures they should produce their own forecasts for the years immediately after 2015 to support their case. We have been asking them to do this since March of this year and they have refused.
“So today I am challenging the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to publish his figures and then to debate those figures publicly with me to allow the voters to decide for themselves the real cost of a Yes vote.”