Michael Noonan addressed the Bloomberg Ireland Economic Summit this morning in

16th May, 2012


The first reason to vote Yes is that the Treaty promotes good housekeeping and passing of the Treaty will prevent future Governments from spending and borrowing excessively from future generations to finance reckless and unsustainable budgetary policies.

For Ireland, this will mean legislating to introduce fiscal rules that will require future Governments to run sensible and sustainable budgets, and to put in place an agreed plan to reduce the debt ratio to 60% of GDP over time.

We cannot let the crisis of the past define Ireland’s future and I strongly believe that we must learn from the mistakes and put in places rules to avoid making the same mistake again.

These rules will ensure that never again a Government will be able to increase current expenditure on the back of growth in unsustainable tax receipts from, for example, property bubbles.

The second reason for voting Yes relates to attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland and the jobs it creates. The multinational sector in
Ireland employs over 140,000 directly in factories and offices across the country and this number is growing each year. Ireland has much to offer
multinational companies.

This key sector is proving yet again to be a key driver of job creation and following on from record levels of investment in 2011 over 1,000 jobs  a month have been announced in multinationals so far this year.  This sector employs thousands of graduates directly from Irish colleges and universities and offers graduate great opportunities to build rewarding and challenging careers. Indirectly, this sector sustains thousands of jobs across all sectors of our economy ranging from construction to transport, to local shops, to restaurants and pubs and each job announcement by a  multinational will indirectly create additional jobs. For example, IDA has also announced that recent investments will lead to the creation of approximately 1,500 construction jobs over the next two years.
The third reason to vote yes is it guarantees access to the ESM, Europe’s firewall and permanent source of non-market funding. From 2013, this will be the only European fund available to European countries who cannot fully access the market. The Government’s objective is to re-enter the markets when our programme concludes.  However, if in the worst case scenario, we are unable to borrow at affordable rates from the markets the ability to access to ESM is essential.

This access guarantees the funds for our public services including pensions, social welfare, education and health services in the future.

The Fourth reason to vote Yes draws on the experience of previous European referendums. The Lisbon Treaty and the Maastricht treaty were complex treaties and the consequences of a Yes were somewhat uncertain. A No vote was a vote for the Status quo. On this occasion the balance of certainty is not with a No vote. A Yes vote gives certainty and the consequences of the treaty are easily understood.

A No vote is a leap in the dark – a dangerous leap that Irish citizens should not take.