Taoiseach: SF's referendum leaflet does not respect voters' intelligence

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has today accused Sinn Féin of lacking respect for the public’s intelligence in its campaign for a 'No' vote in the forthcoming referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has today accused Sinn Féin of lacking respect for the public’s intelligence in its campaign for a 'No' vote in the forthcoming referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty.

He also defended a new Government website giving information on the treaty to tighten budgetary controls and insisted that it is not biased.

“It’s important we, from a Government perspective, we give the people the facts and explain what that means,” said Mr Kenny.

Sinn Féin has come under fire over the launch of its 'No' campaign yesterday, in which it quoted experts saying the treaty made no economic sense.

It has since emerged that the experts in question, including economists Colm McCarthy and Karl Whelan, are actually in favour of the treaty.

During a grilling by the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on the Referendum on the Fiscal Stability Treaty, Mr Kenny described it as “a deliberate subversion of the truth”.

“Taking selective quotations from economists does not respect people’s intelligence,” he added.

The Taoiseach also pointed out that the Referendum Commission would act independently of the Government in delivering informative and impartial information on the treaty.

The first wave of leaflets will be distributed nationwide from today, including 20 pages in English and 20 pages in Irish, outlining details of the treaty as well as the text itself.

Mr Kenny said individual political party campaigns will then begin on Monday, when the order for the referendum is signed off.

Fine Gael, Labour and opposition party Fianna Fáil will lobby for a Yes vote for the treaty, which if passed will see stronger budgetary rules imposed from Europe and penalties for member states in breach.

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