The Socialist Party has today accused Finance Minister Michael Noonan of putting a gun to the heads of Irish voters.
Socialist MEP Paul Murphy rejected today's warning by the Finance Minister that December's Budget would be dramatically tougher if Ireland fails to ratify the EU Fiscal Treaty.
"It looks like a day passed in the campaign before they decided that nicely-nicely wasn't working and they decided to bring out the big guns," he said.
"Really, it is an attempt to put a gun to Irish people's head and force people to vote for something that they're not in favour of."
Launching its campaign for a 'No' vote, the Socialist Party said that Government wants to write austerity into law by passing the treaty.
The party says it will print thousands of posters and more than a million leaflets in what will be its biggest referendum campaign ever.