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Homespun economics about the fiscal treaty under fire

The homespun economics being trotted out to sell the stability treaty is both patronising and beginning to get more than a bit wearing.

What in reality is the “good housekeeping”; that is supposedly “at the heart of the treaty”? In effect, it is budget cuts and tax increases year after year.

Result for households? Shrinking income and worsening living standards for more and more families in the decades ahead.

But just when you thought that you had heard it all, along comes a description of the yet-to-be established European Stability Mechanism that might provide us with a second bailout as being just like your friendly neighbourhood “credit union”.

You pay money into your local branch, in this case “irrevocably and unconditionally”; In our case, we are obligated to the tune of €250m in July, another €250m in October and a further €500m next year, adding up to an initial obligation to provide a total of €11bn in callable capital if required.

But in fact we are writing a blank cheque for the ESM’s powers-that-be would be legally able to raise further capital sums without limit.

To put it in perspective, €11bn represents one third of the total tax take for 2011. And all this well before a second bailout might be needed in the later part of 2013.

And if and when you need a loan you can apply to a credit union; that is not subject to procedures of control and accountability that enjoys such a wide range of legal privileges and immunities and whose personnel enjoy a range of legal immunities and privileges as to truly mark them out as a technocratic and unaccountable elite on the grand scale.

And if you get a loan it will be under such a level of “strict conditionality”; as to be the equivalent of giving the power to the local credit union manager to order what you can have for your breakfast each morning.

Kevin McCorry

Bridgetown

Co Wexford


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