Public Assured By Taoiseach That Austerity is Finite

February 6, 2012 Updated: February 7, 2012

DUBLIN—Public concerns have been raised after a special EU summit last week. The summit included proposed tougher measures to curb government spending; the backlash from the public has forced the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) to speak out. He has tried to assure the Irish electorate that the new measure will not result in years of austerity.

The summit proposes tougher budgetary constraints on each eurozone state, including a near-zero public deficit.

It was expected that Ireland would have to put to referendum any new austerity measure from the EU. It is believed, however, that the Irish government had lobbied the European Union to draft the text of the new fiscal compact in such a manner that would avoid a constitutional referendum in Ireland. The Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, has rejected such claims.

Speaking on National Radio in Ireland, the Taoiseach suggested that the country would not experience recession but in fact the opposite. He said that growth would come once the effects of the EU-IMF bailout package kicked in. 

“Ireland signing up to this is not consigning itself to a programme of austerity for the future,” he told RTÉ radio’s This Week programme.

The Taoiseach believes that if ratified, the fiscal compact would not have an impact on Ireland for two years because of the current State’s bailout programme with the EU and IMF.

The Taoiseach is still confident that the government will exit from the EU Austerity programme at the end of 2013.