Archive for May, 2012

Richard Boyd Barrett TD debates Simon Coveney (FG) on Austerity Treaty in the Final Debate on Newstalk 106, Breakfast show.

They are joined on the panel by Michael O’Reagan (Irish Times).

Almost a century after the Easter Rising, O’Brien Press chronicles the 16 lives that changed the course of Irish history in a landmark series of biographies. The first volume, by series co-editor Lorcan Collins, examines the life of James Connolly.

To mark the publication, Lorcan is joined by Richard Boyd Barrett, TD, writer, curator and editor Catherine Morris. Together they assess this revolutionary socialist and iconic figure of Irish Republicanism, and examine the wider political and social context of the era.

Venue: National Library of Ireland

Date: Tuesday June 5th

Time: 6.00 pm

Tickets: €10 / €8

For more info see:

The United Left Alliance at its final No Campaign press conference this morning has said that the result of the fiscal treaty referendum is too close to call.

Speaking at the press conference, Richard Boyd Barrett said they were finding it quite hard to find Yes voters, and those they did find were doing so out of fear. He said the result was a question of whether fear won out over the chance to reject austerity. Mr Boyd Barrett accused the Government of “lying through their teeth” about the “so-called deficit problem”. He said the threat that the State will not have enough money to fund itself if we vote No is a “total hoax and yet another example of the lies, bullying and intimidation that has characterised the Government’s campaign”.

United Left Alliance, MEP Paul Murphy said a No vote would send a message to Europe that austerity does not work, and would help to defeat the treaty.

The Government’s own figures show the primary deficit in 2013 will only be €3.1 billion not €18 billion as the Yes side claim

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, and Finance spokesperson for People Before Profit/United Left Alliance has said the government’s own figures show they are” lying through their teeth” to the public about the so-called deficit problem and the threat that the state will not have enough money to fund itself if we vote NO to the Fiscal Treaty.

Richard Boyd Barrett said the government’s own figures show clearly that the primary deficit (i.e. the deficit when bank debts and interest on debt is removed) will only be €3.1 billion in 2013 and is expected to be in surplus in the years following that.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The government have been lying through their teeth to the public about the size of the deficit problem and the threat of their not being enough money to salaries, pensions and social welfare, if we vote NO this Thursday.

The government’s worst case scenario is a total hoax and yet another example of the lies, bullying and intimidation that has characterised the government’s campaign.

In the unlikely scenario that the EU denied Ireland funding, the deficit gap we would have to fill is not €18 billion – it is €3.1 billion in 2013. The figures the government are using are ones which include re-payment of bank debt and other interest on debt. Obviously, if the EU cut off funding to us we would not be making those re-payments and the actual gap between income and expenditure would then only be €3.1 billion.

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At a press conference today in the Mont Clare hotel in Dublin, the People Before Profit Alliance said that the government were lying and deceiving the public about the provisions of both the Fiscal Treaty and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

PBPA said the government had refused to acknowledge the enormous level of further cuts and austerity that would be necessary to meet the deficit and debt targets contained in the Fiscal Treaty, even though the figures were well known to them. PBPA said also that the government had utterly deceived the public about the ESM in claiming that it represented an “insurance policy” for the Irish people.

PBPA said the ESM was simply a permanent version of the EU-IMF austerity programme, designed to bail-out the European banking system, where any funding would be conditional on imposing further brutal austerity, and which could cost the Irish people €11 billion or even more to access. A NO vote is a vote against the failed and disastrous policies of bailing out banks and savage cuts. It is a vote demanding that jobs, economic growth and fairness become the priority for dealing with the current economic crisis. We urge people to raise their voices this Thursday to demand that alternative by voting NO.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “The government have lied and utterly deceived the public about the actual contents of the Fiscal Treaty and the ESM. They have failed to acknowledge the enormous level of cuts and austerity that will be imposed on the Irish people in order to meet the debt and deficit targets in the treaty. This is despite the fact that the government’s own figures make clear that billions of such cuts will be needed for years after we exit the current EU-IMF programme in order to meet those targets. Inadvertently the government actually admitted the truth about this when they said recently that there was nothing new in the treaty. This was an admission that the treaty is simply more of the same disastrous austerity policies that have been pursued over the last four years – except now those policies will be written into law.

So it simple: If you want more of the same austerity that we’ve had for the last four years, vote for the treaty – If you want an alternative, vote NO. The government have also lied utterly about the ESM claiming that it is some sort of benevolent fund that will keep money in the ATM’s if we need help. There is nothing about ATM’s or paying pensions or social welfare in the ESM treaty. In reality, the ESM treaty sets out clearly that it is a mechanism to bail-out the European financial system, that any funding will be strictly conditional on further austerity, and that it may cost the Irish people €11 billion or more.

Joan Collins TD said, “With the commitment to 11 billion in the ESM and more cuts on the way, where are they going to get the savings from? Are they going to hit healthcare, are they going hit more public services, are they going to attack pensions and other vulnerable sections of society? The Government keep dodging this question and instead of telling the truth about the treaty are trying to bully and scare people into voting yes”

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Thursday 24th May, 8pm, Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

On the NO side: Richard Boyd Barrett TD (People Before Profit) & Ailbhe Smith (Feminist Open Forum)

On the Yes side: Jim Power (Economist) & Stephen Donnelly TD (Wicklow Independent).

Local TDs were invited but all refused.

Organised by People Before Profit – Dun Laoghaire

Public Debate Fiscal Treaty – Yes or No?

Speakers: Richard Boyd Barrett TD & Ailbhe Smith (Feminist Open Forum), Stephen Donnelly TD & Jim Power (Economist)

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

Thursday, 24 May, 8pm

“We are trying to facilitate a debate that the government is avoiding. The Government is running away from a proper debate on the crisis and today the Dail was adjourned for a week – the week before the referendum vote. Government triumphalism that there will be no changes to the treaty is completely irrelevant. The main issue is what will be the impact of the austerity required to meet the debt and deficit targets on the Irish economy.

It is very telling that it looks like Angela Merkel will be unable to get the treaty through the Bundestag before autumn because the SPD and Green Party are not willing to sign a treaty that will result in austerity until they hear commitments to jobs and growth and none of these are forthcoming.

The crisis in Greece and possible impact for Europe is coming to a crunch particularly in countries like Spain and the government is trivialising these issues. The real nature and structure of the ESM is not clear and certianly not democratic and the government is trying to avoid debating it.

We are delighted to have Stephen Donnelly and Jim Power debating this evening and at least they have a respect for the public that the government clearly does not have”.

For info/comment:

Richard Boyd Barrett TD 086 7814520

Cllr Melisa Halpin 086 3805793