The advice by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that, in the event of a ‘No’ vote on May 31st, Ireland would not be able to return to the international borrowing markets next year at sustainable interest rates should be carefully considered by all voters before they finalise their voting intentions, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that he had received this advice from the NTMA in response to a priority Dáil question by Deputy McGrath this afternoon.

Deputy McGrath stated, “The NTMA is a widely respected agency and has developed a strong international reputation through its work in raising funding for the State and managing the national debt. The advice by the NTMA of the consequences of a ‘No’ vote on May 31st is highly significant and should be taken into account by voters before going to the polls on May 31st.

“In essence, the advice by the NTMA means that, in the event of a ‘No’ vote, Ireland faces a nightmare scenario of being shut out of the bond markets and being unable to access emergency funding from the European Stability Mechanism. 

“We know for certain that Ireland needs to raise €18.6 billion to run the country in 2014. If this money cannot be borrowed on the markets, the obvious alternative source of funding is the ESM and we only have access to the ESM if we ratify the Treaty. This money is required to fund vital public services and provide basic welfare support for families throughout the country.

“Based on the NTMA’s advice, it is clear that rejecting the Fiscal Stability Treaty on May 31st would expose Ireland to an enormous risk. This is not a risk we need to take and underlines that the best option is to vote ‘Yes’ on May 31st especially given the fact that we are essentially already subject to the fiscal rules contained in the Treaty.”