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Government referendum booklet designed to mislead the public – Ó Caoláin

11 May, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has accused the Government of “distributing deliberately misleading information in their referendum booklet”. 

The Government booklet, paid for by the taxpayer, is silent on the implications of the Treaty’s new enforcement and punishment mechanisms. With less than three weeks to polling day it is not good enough for the government to be hiding on this issue. They need to come out and explain the long term consequences of giving new wide ranging powers to the European Commission and European Court of Justice to dictate what is in future budgets and to impose fines of up to €160million if they decide we are in breach of their rules.”

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“This week the Government has distributed their information booklet which claims to provide balanced and objective information on the Treaty. While the booklet does not advocate a Yes vote it fails to explain the full consequences of key elements of the Treaty.

“In particular it deliberately fails to mention the consequences for our economic sovereignty arising from the enforcement and punishment mechanisms contained in Articles 5 and 8.

“This is clearly a deliberate omission aimed at misleading the public.

“Article 5 cedes significant new powers to the European Commission to force states deemed to be in breach of the Treaty’s harsh rules into an ‘economic partnership programme’.  This will allow the European Commission to dictate what happens in future Irish budgets.

“Article 8 cedes significant new legal jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice and gives them the power to impose fines on member states for not complying with the rules of the Treaty.  These fines can be up to €160million.

“All of this undermined the ability of the Dáil to control our economic affairs and is a significant transfer of powers to the EU.  And this is happening without any proper debate or scrutiny.

“With less than three weeks to polling day it is not good enough for the government to be hiding on this issue. They need to come out and explain the long term consequences of giving new wide ranging powers to the European Commission and European Court of Justice to dictate what is in future budgets and to impose fines of up to €160 million if they decide we are in breach of their rules.” 

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