Gaelers on the Financial Stability Treaty

This Treaty means NEVER again can we mortgage away our children’s
futures for the benefit of electoral politics. Twice in a generation
we have seen our country pushed to the brink to this end. NEVER again.

· This Treaty is about better financial and budgetary
management. It is a KEY STEP IN OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY.
· Membership of a strong, stable single currency area remains a
fundamental pillar of Ireland’s long-term economic growth and jobs
strategy.
· Ratification of this Stability Treaty will be another
important step in the rebuilding of both Ireland’s economy, and our
international reputation.
· The referendum gives the Irish people the opportunity to
reaffirm Ireland’s commitment to membership of the Euro, which remains
a fundamental pillar of our economic and jobs strategy.
· The new Government had already committed itself to legislate
for equally challenging domestic deficit and debt rules. We have to
convince the public at home and international investors that we will
put our public finances back onto a sustainable footing in order to
lower interest rates and to restore confidence, investment and jobs.
· The Stability Treaty will NOT have any impact on the fiscal
targets we have already agreed as part of the Programme. We will
continue to implement our plans to bring the deficit down to under 3%
of GDP by 2015.
· It is rubbish to say that the Stability Treaty requires
unending austerity. Ireland has to reduce our debt down to safe levels
anyway.
· It requires that we continue to reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio
back down to 60% over the next 20 years. But we expect growth to do
most of this work. For example, between 1991 and 2000 our actual debt
increased from €36bn to €40bn, but our debt to GDP ratio declined from
95% to 35% because of strong growth in the economy.
· Stability is only part of the solution. Better management of
national economies will only restore confidence if they go
hand-in-hand with greater efforts to support growth here and across
the rest of Europe.
· There is nothing required of us by this Treaty that Ireland
would not be doing anyway in order to repair our public finances and
to restore confidence.
· Our programme funding is secure until end 2013, but it will
be vital for investment and stability to have a funding backstop
beyond our existing programme. For that, we will need to ratify the
Treaty.
· A No vote would leave us isolated and without the protection
of the European Stability Mechanism. We are currently the only English
speaking member of the Eurozone which is a huge advantage and one that
must be protected.
· We need to have better fiscal rules to stop reckless economic
management, including huge public spending increases financed by a
temporary tax windfall from the property sector, from ever happening
again.
· This Government is not saying that the Stability Treaty will, in
one fell swoop, cure all the design problems in the Eurozone but a
strong foundation in disciplined budget management is needed in every
country.

Minister Quinn to announce details this afternoon of 200 school grants
to replace pre fabs with permanent buildings:
The Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn, will this afternoon
announce the biggest initiative ever undertaken to replace rented
prefabs in schools. This is not part of the five-year building
programme, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

200 schools will be offered grants to build permanent accommodation
this year – over a third of all schools who currently rent prefabs.
The funding will be used to replace prefabs that are used to provide
resource rooms and classroom accommodation for an estimated 6,000
pupils.

A total of €35 million has been allocated for this initiative in 2012
and will result in savings of approximately €5m per annum on the
rental of prefabs in these schools in the coming years, and will
create an estimated 700 direct and 140 indirect jobs. This new
initiative forms part of the Government’s €430 million education
infrastructure plan for 2012. The Government’s investment in the
School Building Programme this year, including the replacement of
prefabs, will create an estimated 3,250 direct and 650 indirect jobs.