Kenny and Adams cross swords on treaty

Kenny and Adams cross swords on treaty

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams have again clashed over the fiscal treaty referendum.

In the Dáil this afternoon Mr Kenny reacted furiously to a claim from Deputy Adams that the Irish people had an opportunity to join other electorates in Europe by saying No to austerity.

Mr Kenny said the Sinn Féin plan would be to deliver a "lethal injection" of €10bn in taxes to the economy in the event of a No vote.

He accused Deputy Adams of not having his heart in the arguments on the treaty.

"It seems to me as if you are suffering from some kind of a complex here, Deputy Adams," Mr Kenny said.

"I understand that you have called in the reinforcements from the Europe Party of Freedom and Democracy, led by UKIP," he added, to laughter in the house.

"I thought that the Sinn Féin campaign was sufficiently robust to make the case yourselves."

But Deputy Adams insisted the coalition wants to give over what is left of our sovereignty.

"Minister Noonan described the 2011 budget as a 'puppet budget from a puppet government'," he said.

"So, cad an difir?

"Why do you support the abandonment of economic sovereignty?

"Why do you believe, Taoiseach, that tax measures, or public spending targets, or welfare rates should be set in Brussels or Berlin, rather than here in the Oireachtas?"

Meanwhile Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton refuted remarks by Deputy Adams, in which he suggested that the Government had doubled the deficit in one year.

“Gerry Adams said this afternoon that this Government had doubled the budget deficit since coming into office," she said.

"Sinn Féin is once again using fantasy figures cooked up on the back of an envelope to scare people into voting No in the referendum on the Stability Treaty.

She pointed out that a Stability Programme Update published recently by the Finance Minister "showed the underlying budget deficit for 2011 at 9.4% of GDP (13.1% headline), which is significantly ahead of the EU/IMF target of 10.6% of GDP."

" The Government is committed to a general deficit of not more than 8.6% of GDP for 2012," Minister Creighton added.

"Deputy Adams will be aware that the headline deficit figure for 2010 was over 30% of GDP.

“Sinn Féin needs to invest in a calculator and stop plucking figures out of the sky.

"The Stability Treaty will provide us with sound economic policies well into the future. The Sinn Féin alternative is Gerrynomics.”

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