Commitment on Ireland to increase military spending to €3 billion per annum by 2020
The Workers’ Party have called for a major mobilisation of public opinion against the government’s decision to sign Ireland up to the recently formed Permanent Structured Defence Cooperation of the European Union (PESCO).
Workers’ Party Dublin Councillor Éilis Ryan said the decision to join PESCO was unacceptable at any time but was even more outrageous given that it will commit this country to a vastly increased level of military expenditure at a time when the government is unable or unwilling to provide the type of funds that are required to adequately address the housing crisis.
Cllr. Ryan said: “The decision to enlist Ireland and our defence forces in what will be a permanent military agency is unconscionable. It will commit the state to increasing its military budget exponentially to more than €3 billion per annum by 2020. This will not be of any benefit to the members of the defence forces whose spouses were forced to protest just last week at their poor levels of pay”
“The government’s deliberate curtailment of debate on PESCO in the Óireachtas is mirrored by the total lack of public discussion and information on the decision and the consequences of joining PESCO, economic and otherwise”.
The Workers’ Party councillor said that no amount of PR or denial could hide the reality that PESCO is a step too far and reduces our neutrality to the point of meaninglessness. “How much longer can the government get away with dismissing people’s concerns about Irish neutrality? How much longer can they hide between the smokescreen of the Triple Lock?”. queried Cllr. Ryan.
She concluded: We need a national debate on this issue and I would urge the public, especially those affected by the housing and health crises, to let this government know, in no uncertain terms, that they are opposed to PESCO”.