The Workers Party today welcomed the end to the uncertainty about the date for the referendum on the Fiscal Compact /EU Austerity Treaty and confirmation that it will be on May 31st.
"It is ridiculous" stated Workers Party spokesman, John Jefferies, "that this situation ever developed. This treaty is of such magnitude, and affects so profoundly our economic policy options for the future, that the government should never have sought to avoid a referendum".
"The Workers Party believes that the immediate establishment of a properly resourced and patently neutral Referendum Commission is now vital. The Commission must be allowed, without fear or favour, to explain to the Irish people, and to disseminate directly to the Irish people, the legal meaning, and the constitutional implications, contained in this treaty. We regard as most sinister comments made by a senior government minister after the people soundly rejected the proposed 30th amendment to the constitution last October, and hope that the attitude displayed at that time does not impinge on the impartiality of the Commission in the discharge of their duties".
"The Workers Party" continued Mr. Jefferies "unapologetically opposes the Fiscal Compact. In the first instance it is bad economics. No country or region has ever cut their way out of a recession, yet this is the only formula allowed by this treaty. In the second instance this treaty is very poor jurisprudence. It is nonsense to enshrine a strict and regressive economic formula into a constitution which will, deliberately, hog-tie economic policy for all future Irish governments. If this is adopted Ireland will be the only country in the world requiring a referendum to alter government economic policy, no matter what the mandate or parliamentary majority of that government."
Mr. Jefferies called on the media to facilitate a full and proper debate on all the issues surrounding this treaty."In the Nice referendums, the Lisbon referendums, and already in the discussion on this treaty, certain political and economic journalists have been spitefully partisan in their articles and comments. Clearly it is the right of every journalist to hold to whatever view they so desire, but surely their duty as journalists is to report on the public debate and allow the public to arrive at a conclusion."
Issued 27th March 2012