The Frontline

The "F" Word

Next Monday 21st May, The Frontline will hold a debate on the Fiscal Treaty in advance of the referendum on May 31st.


Stability or austerity? Good housekeeping or an unacceptable erosion of sovereignty? There is dispute even about what to call the Treaty we will be voting on, never mind what it will mean if it is passed.

The Referendum Commission say the Treaty is “about strengthening the rules designed to make governments keep a balance between their income and their spending.” While the proponents of the Treaty claim that it will foster budgetary discipline and therefore encourage investment, opponents claim that it will enshrine austerity into the law of the land and argue we should reject it in order to get a better deal on our bank debt.

A range of issues from household charges to Ireland’s rate of corporate tax are cited by the ‘No’ campaign in its arguments against the Treaty while the Yes side describe them as irrelevant to the actual question before the people.

With the latest opinion polls showing 35% of voters still undecided, we can expect both sides to increase their efforts to win over those critical ‘Don’t Knows’ as the referendum campaign enters its final fortnight.

If you would like to join the audience for The Frontline Fiscal Treaty debate, email thefrontlineaudience@rte.ie.