Following yesterday’s announcement that CETA is to be subject to Oireachtas committee scrutiny, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has said that Budgetary Risks must be included.
Teachta Farrell said:
“In response to my question at this week’s Budgetary Oversight Committee, it was revealed that neither the Department of Finance, nor the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, had conducted a risk analysis of the budgetary impact of CETA.
“I think it is quite clear that the Budgetary Oversight Committee must be involved in scrutiny of CETA. As I made clear to the Ministers during the week, the fact that a treaty which could have such a significant budgetary impact, and which has generated such heated opposition, not just in this country but across Europe and in Canada, would not be subject to some kind of impact analysis is very concerning.
“As such, I am now calling on Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath to instruct their respective departments to undertake a comprehensive risk analysis of CETA’s impact as it pertains to corporate taxation, public expenditure and other budgetary risks.
“This analysis must be made publicly available, along with any assumptions made therein, and it must be published before the Ministers appear before the relevant committees. It is clear to me that such a wide-ranging treaty as this is well beyond the scope of a single committee, namely the Committee on European Affairs, and requires the involvement of a multitude of committees.
“It is equally clear, given the major negative macroeconomic effects that the NAFTA treaty (North American Free Trade Agreement) had on the Canadian, US and Mexican economies, that international experts will also be required to give their views. NAFTA placed downward pressure on wages and workers’ rights, it caused environmental devastation, and it stifled economic innovation through overly restrictive intellectual property rights. This is what we will be facing if CETA, one of NAFTA’s offspring, passes. We all have a part to play in opposing it.
“CETA must be rejected. It is bad for workers’ rights, bad for the environment and bad for the public purse. It sets a dangerous precedent in introducing investor courts into the Irish system, which would be hugely damaging for the people of Ireland. Sinn Féin is absolutely committed to opposing CETA.”