Ex-Taoiseach Bruton urges yes vote for scrutiny of govt accounts

Ex-Taoiseach Bruton urges yes vote for scrutiny of govt accounts

Former Taoiseach John Bruton has said that voting yes in the Fiscal Stability Treaty referendum would ensure greater scrutiny of government accounts.

Article 3 of the Treaty requires governments to commit to balanced or surplus budgets as a general approach to their country's finances.

John Bruton said the establishment of the existing fiscal advisory council as a statutory body would prevent "accounting disasters" such as those he had to deal with when he became Finance Minister in 1981.

"(The previous government) provided for the continuance of expenditure, but they didn’t provide enough money to cover that expenditure," he said. "That meant I had to introduce, within three weeks, a supplementary budget to balance the books.

"That should not be allowed. If we vote yes, we will have a fiscal advisory council (of) top level economists who will independently say whether the government figures are honest or not."

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