Speech by YFG President Patrick Molloy at Fine Gael Rally

 

Paddy Molloy, President YFG Source: http://yfg.ie/euref/?p=769

The following is a speech by Patrick Molloy, President of Young Fine Gael at the National Fine Gael Rally on Sunday 27th of May.

 

On the 31st of May we have an opportunity.

An opportunity to banish uncertainty and cast aside the doubt that has plagued the country for many years and could plague this generation for years to come unless we vote yes.

In voting yes on the 31st of May we continue on the path to recovery. A path where Young Irish Men and Women will look to Ireland for their future, no longer looking for opportunities to leave, but rather taking and creating opportunities here at home.

For generations of Irish men and women Thursday’s vote will determine their future. On March the 9th 2011 Fine Gael and Labour entered into Government and took it upon themselves to reconstruct our country and our economy. We are building a new beginning.

This treaty is the continuity and certainty that this country needs but most importantly it is the certainty that my Generation needs.

We must provide a basis for strong fiscal governance that does not lend itself to short term gain at the price of a generations future. People starting their careers will have the opportunity to progress and further their ambitions in a confident and competitive Ireland. An Ireland in which fiscal governance ensures our economy can grow in a stable way.

What is being advocated by others, constitutes an act of simple self-promotion, driven by political ambition. We have a real alternative of smart fiscal governance and an insurance policy which will generate investor confidence.

People keep talking about stimulus packages but in small open economies, building investment and jobs are the only stimulus packages which work, and work right now.

We have seen many large Multi-Nationals invest in Ireland and setup or expand here. 13,000 new jobs have been created since January 2011, since 2010 jobs numbers are up 20% and for the naysayers, in the same period job losses down 25%.

These are the jobs that young Irish people want and need. These are the places where the future job creators and innovators learn the skills that help build the indigenous Irish business of tomorrow. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Paypal, LinkedIn, Intel – job creators, innovators, inspirers who instil confidence in the Irish economy and hope in the minds of my friends and I. These companies believe in Ireland and believe in the workforce we are training.

Our strength has always resided in our work ethic, our ability & willingness to trade & our openness to the future. For generations gone by, Ireland has always depended on these strengths, for our generation these are supplemented by a complete willingness to be a part of a new beginning. We must build on this new beginning and not let a single opportunity pass our country by. For my generation, these opportunities are crucial.

Young people in Ireland are deeply committed to the future of Ireland, they are innovative and invested in fixing Ireland.

We have an opportunity to build this new beginning , to compete once again on a world stage, to build towards a sustainable future where the choices people make are not dictated by the fluctuations in our economic cycles but by their own free will.

Secure this New Beginning,

Secure this future.

Secure our future,

Vote yes

Great speech!

 

Memes, Cow’s and The Yes Vote

Staying up late on Facebook (admit it you do it to), I came across a conversation between two of my friends (Lucy and Fran in UCC YFG), who have obviously being concentrating on the upcoming Treaty Referendum on May 31st as much as their exam in the morning! They produced some great Memes from a conversation about canvassing at a mart and putting rug on a calf (I’m now informed they are called calf jackets – thanks Tom!) with a slogan on it! This is what the conversation produced! I wonder what else will come out of their exam riddled brains during the campaign!

Keep up the good work girls! Good luck in the exams also!

Why I am Voting Yes – For Stability

A number of people have asked me why I am voting yes in the upcoming referendum on the Stability Treaty (Fiscal Compact, whatever you want to call it!), so I have decided to do a series of posts on why I am voting Yes. Here is the first part of the series.

One of the main reasons I am voting yes to the 30th Amendment to the Constitution on May 31st is to ensure Ireland has stability in the future. If we do not have access to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) we put this at risk, in my view.

We are going through a tough time as a country at the moment, with the Troika (IMF, ECB and the EC) here telling us we have to cut spending and raising taxes to meet certain targets. We need to hit these to enable us to return to the markets.

If we do not accept this treaty we will not have access to the ESM, which will have more money available to us then the IMF.

While we will still have access to the IMF, we will not get the same level of funding as we did last time. It could mean a tougher time for us as citizens. UCD Economist Karl Whelan recently explained this on Morning Ireland

Ireland could apply to the IMF for funds. However, people need to  understand that the IMF has its procedures in which is assesses how much money it’s willing to lend to a country. How much money they’re normally willing to lend a country, depends upon what’s called the size of a country’s IMF Quota. They normally will lend maybe three, four, five times a country’s Quota. They’ve already loaned Ireland, fifteen times our Quota. So that is well beyond their normal behaviour. Now why did they do that? They explained why they did that. They said that because Ireland has this additional support from Europe, they think that they’re not in as much, in as risky a situation. So we are now talking about, in addition to those loans that we already have from the IMF, will they give us far more than that, because now instead of being one third of the current bailout, they would have to be all of what’s afterwards. Most likely in that situation, what the IMF would do is deem Ireland’s debt situation to be unsustainable. The only way I think that they would be willing to lend to us, is if they say oh yeah, these guys are not going to be able to pay back all their debts. So you will see the existing debts, the sovereign bonds that we’ve issued to private investors, will at that point most likely be restructured. At that point they may be willing to think about, after a default, and we are shut out of financial markets for a number of years, they may be willing to give us a small amount of money.

So that means we have the possibility of a default if we do not vote Yes. Also possibility of a default means that we have a chance of having more austerity then less. As Karl Whelan again pointed out on Morning Ireland,

I think a most likely outcome of a No Vote that isn’t in any way reversed, and we just say we don’t want to borrow from the ESM, the most likely outcome from that is a large scale sovereign default, followed by possibly a small IMF Programme that would see the country have to run a zero budget deficit very very quickly. In other words, far more Austerity. So people who think they’re Voting No because they don’t like the Austerity, need to understand that it is more than likely that a No Vote would being us more Austerity in the near term than a Yes Vote.

So to avoid this scenario and to provide stability to the Irish Economy in Future, I am voting Yes on May 31st.

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C April 29th

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 16:  Garda traffic cones...
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 16: Garda traffic cones prevent parking in central Dublin in advance of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's visit on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin is preparing for the Queen and Duke of Edinbugh's historic visit tommorow, the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post had a Red C poll on the treaty referendum and on party support, so it made for interesting reading on the way home from Dublin (hence why this post is late). On the treaty it has shown some slight movement and it is the same story with party support.

The headline figures on the treaty are:

  • Yes 47% (-2)
  • No 35% (+2)
  • Don’t Know 18% (nc)

When the Don’t Know’s are excluded the figures are:

  • Yes 58% (-2)
  • No 42% (+2)

With the changes all within the margin of error, it is still all to play for. And with the campaign getting officially underway today expect a lot more polls!

In terms of party support the figures are as follows:

  • Fine Gael 32% (-2)
  • Labour 14% (-1)
  • Fianna Fail 17% (+1)
  • Sinn Fein 19% (+1)
  • Others 18% (+1)

All the changes again are within the margin of error.  So no major changes. Interesting to note that Government Parties support is down, while opposition is up. But with no major changes its hard to make any long term predictions on it.

Fiscal Treaty will NOT lead to permanent Austerity

austerity
austerity (Photo credit: 401K)

One of the mains arguments being used by the No side to the Fiscal Compact Referendum is that this treaty will lead to permanent austerity.

A senior IMF official has said that adopting the fiscal treaty does not mean permanent austerity, the complete opposite!

Speaking after an event in Brussels, IMF deputy divisional chief Xavier Debrun told reporters that once a government had a more balanced budget situation then belt-tightening was no longer necessary.

Mr Debrun said the treaty simply meant that governments adhered to “common sense” housekeeping rules.

He said Ireland passing the fiscal treaty would improve the country’s chances of returning to the international markets to borrow.

Mr Debrun said: “Fiscal rules are about fiscal responsibility, the fact that over the long-term governments make sure that on average they can pay for the policy measures they implement. This is just common sense.

“This is called the budget constraint: you are subjected to it, I am subjected to it, the government is subjected to it.”

Mr Debrun said austerity was caused by governments ignoring the budget constraint and then being faced with fiscal shocks which required belt-tightening.

He said: “The belt-tightening is the austerity, but you do not have to tighten your belt forever, obviously.”

This is what the Yes Campaign has to get across. The Fiscal Compact is formalising rules we have been subject to since the Masstricht Treaty, the Growth and Stability Pact, the Six Pact and now the Fiscal Compact. If those treaties and pacts were about permanent austerity, why did we not have it since 1992?

Its time we got real with our finances and learned to live within our budget, just like every other household, business and country.

Pollwatch: Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI April 19th

There is a poll in today’s Irish Times by Ipsos MRBI on the upcoming referendum on Fiscal Compact. The headline figures are

  • Yes: 30%
  • No: 23%
  • Undecided: 39%
  • Not voting: 8%

When the undecideds and those not voting are excluded it buts the sides on the following:

  • Yes: 58%
  • No: 42%

Interestingly Fine Gael voters are the strongest supporters of the treaty with 54% in favour. There is 9% against and 34% undecided.

Fianna Fail voters are next strongest supporters with 41% saying they will vote Yes, 20% No and 36% undecided.

Labour Party have the most undecideds and is behind Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in terms of voters who will back the treaty. 33% in favour of the treaty, 17% against and 46% undecided.

The No vote have the strongest support from Sinn Fein supporters and supporters of small parties and independents with 48% intending to vote No, 12% Yes and 33% undecided.

Munster has the highest Yes vote and Connacht-Ulster the most against. Dublin is neck and neck between the two sides meaning that the treaty could be won or lost in Dublin.

This campaign is going to be a massive task in convincing the undecideds and neither side can be complacent on their support. With the polling Day on a Thursday it will be a case of trying to get out as many voters as possible.

Are You Registered to Vote?

Disenfranchised citizens throughout the New Or...

Its that time again to make sure that you are on the register to vote in the Referendum on the 30th Amendment to the Constitution (the Fiscal Compact) on May 31st. The deadline for the applying to be added to the supplementary register is Monday May 14th.

Local authorities are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the register of electors. The current register came into force on 15 February 2012.   People can check with their local authority directly or on www.checktheregister.ie to see if they are registered to vote in the forthcoming referendum. For those who are not registered, application forms (RFA 2) are available from your local authority and can be downloaded from www.checktheregister.ie.

There is also a narrow window of opportunity that will arise for those voters who are eligible for, but not already included in, the postal or special voters lists, and who are thinking of applying for inclusion in the supplements to those lists.The latest date for receipt of such applications, if the persons applying wish to be postal or special voters, as appropriate, at the forthcoming referendum is two days after the Polling Day Order for the referendum is made by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan.  The Minister has not yet made the Polling Day Order for the Referendum, but eligible voters who will be seeking to avail of this facility are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The following are entitled to a postal vote:

Whole time members of the Defence Forces,

  • Garda Síochána,
  • Irish Diplomats serving abroad and their spouses/partners,
  • Persons living at home who are unable to go to a polling station to vote because of a physical illness or physical disability,
  • Persons whose occupations are likely to prevent them from voting at their local polling station on election day, including full-time students registered at home who are living elsewhere while attending an educational institution in the State.

So if you intend on voting in the Referendum make sure you are registered!

Portugal Approves Fiscal Compact

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 01:  Portuguese Pr...

Portugal today became the first state to approve the Fiscal Compact. 25 of the 27 EU Member states signed up to the tightened budget rules. The United Kingdom and the Czech Republic are the only two not to sign up. It is interesting that Portugal were first to approve the treaty as they were the third country to get a bailout of the EU/ECB/IMF after Ireland and Greece.

The Portuguese Government were supported by the opposition Socialists in passing the pact which was approved by 204 votes to 24, with two abstentions.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told parliament that the pact represented a “moment of confirmation of the European consensus”

Antonio José Seguro, the Socialist leader, said: “This treaty is vital to Portugal staying in the euro.”

Mr Seguro said: “This treaty may be a response to markets, but it is not a response to the crisis and to the problems of Portuguese, to unemployment. It is an unbalanced treaty.”

Mr Seguro raises some valid points as the Pact also does not deal with issues of Bank Debt but it is part of a number of initiatives to try and fix the Crisis in the Eurozone.

Ireland will be voting on the Fiscal Compact on May 31st. Ireland will be the only country to hold a referendum on the pact.

Don’t forget you can read the Fiscal Compact here

Referendum Campaign to get under-way this week?

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to TheJournal.ie the Government is to announce the date of the Fiscal Compact Referendum on Tuesday after their Cabinet meeting. While An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, will not be at that meeting due to his trip to China, it was he who announced it in remarks in Shanghai.

The referendum on the EU Fiscal Compact will be scheduled to avoid clashing with the Leaving Certificate Exams, the Eucharistic Congress and the European Football Championships. This means it will be late May/early June or late June/early July.

In either case expect the campaigns, both Yes and No to make a tentative start to their campaigns after the announcement of the date as campaigners get their canvassing shoes ready.

Also as the campaign gets under way expect more polls which will be important as the undecided’s make up their minds and I will endeavour to cover them as always.

You can read the Fiscal Compact here (PDF) or else you can also read theJournal.ie’s version in layman’s terms.

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C 25th March 2012

There is an interesting poll in tomorrows Sunday Business Post by Red C on both Party support and the fiscal treaty referendum. It is worth nothing that the poll was taken before the announcement on a deal on the Promissory Note and the Mahon Tribunal Report .

The top-line figures for party support are as follows:

  • Fine Gael 34% (+4)
  • Labour 15% (-1)
  • Fianna Fail 16% (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 18% (nc)
  • Ind/others 17% (-2)

Fine Gael manage get to get a four point bump in the poll this month. I am not sure exactly why considering all the major developments happened after the respondents were polled! Of course with the Ard Fheis next weekend there has been some mention of that.  Labour and Fianna Fail both continue their slow slide, but of course the next poll will the most important one for Fianna Fail. If their move to kick Bertie Ahern and others mentioned in the Mahon Report  are the right moves to keep support from the voters. Also it shows the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis and the apology has not helped with the polls.

Labours as the junior coalition party seem to be the ones suffering from policies implemented as there voters do not seem to agree. Of course with their National Conference coming up they could manage to stake out their own course after that.

Sinn Fein hold on to their support level as they start their campaign against the Fiscal Compact Treaty. Independents and others are the ones who are down two points as can happen when a party gets a boost larger then 2 percentage points.

On the treaty referendum the poll found the following:

  • Yes 49% (+5)
  • No 33%(+4)
  • Undecided 18% (-9)

When the undecided’s are excluded it is

  • Yes 60%
  • No 40%

Which is no change from the polls earlier this month. The campaigns have yet to get under way, but with the undecided’s splitting evenly at the moment it might not be tight, but lets not get complacent!