The decision by the government to sign off on €750bn of borrowing by the EU Commission should have only been taken after a full public and Dáil debate given the importance of the decision, which is known as the ‘Own Resources Decision’, an MEP who represents Donegal in the European Parliament has said.
Sinn Féin MEP and Member of the EU Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Chris MacManus said:
“On the 12th May, without any public notice or announcement, the government signed off on facilitating the EU Commission borrowing €750bn to finance the EU Recovery Fund. This decision was notified to the EU Council by the Irish government offices in Brussels. This is an unprecedented commitment for the EU Commission to take on.”
“The fact that the decision was taken without the slightest effort at debate or scrutiny is a cause for concern and raises serious long-term questions for this State. “
“Sinn Féin support a stimulus plan to aid the EU Recovery but this rubber-stamping of an unprecedented borrowing facility for the EU Commission should not have passed without any debate or Dáil scrutiny. €750bn can now be borrowed by Brussels but there is no clear indication how it will be repaid.”
“Will new EU taxes - which many in the EU want - like corporate tax contributions, environmental taxes and other taxes like a Digital Levy flowing directly into Brussels be used to repay the loans or will Member States have to repay with net contributors like Ireland paying more? These questions should have been answered before the government signed off on this decision.”
MacManus said such a major decision should be subject to thorough domestic debate. “Twenty Member States’ parliaments have to approve such a decision, with only seven states including Ireland seemingly allowing a government to rubber-stamp with no debate or scrutiny. The minimum scrutiny should have been a full Dáil debate and vote. In Finland a passionate national debate over the issue occurred. For decades to come the State might be paying for this decision or alternatively face EU taxes which the government says it is opposed to.”
The MEP concluded, “Taking this decision on the quiet serves the Irish people poorly. This is no way to build public confidence in the EU recovery fund or to encourage solidarity.”
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