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Do you know what the fiscal compact treaty is all about?

If the answer is no, you’re in the majority.

LESS THAN ONE in five people in Ireland actually understand the European Union fiscal compact treaty just six weeks before the country holds a referendum on it.

A new survey by Behaviour & Attitudes for the Sunday Times shows that just 6 per cent understand the treaty “very well” with another 12 per cent claiming to understand the proposal “quite well”.

About one quarter of people have some understanding of what they will be voting on when they go to the polls on 31 May.

About 32 per cent of those surveyed by B&A this week said they had no understanding “at all” of the fiscal compact treaty.

According to the poll, there is 42 per cent support for ratifying the treaty and 27 per cent against it, while 32 per cent still don’t know which way they will vote.

The figures don’t exactly match with those highlighted by the Ipsos/MRBI poll for the Irish Times on Friday. That survey showed a 30 per cent Yes vote and a larger undecided category.

Earlier this week, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore told the Oireachtas sub-committee on the treaty that a copy of the Treaty text and information about the referendum will be sent to homes around the country in early May.

The Sunday Business Post reveals that An Post will deliver two different booklets to 1.6 million homes – one from the Referendum Commission and another from the government.

Opposition members have criticised the government over the length of the campaign, which they say is too short to fully inform the public of the issues involved.

An expert panel of political scientists told the Joint Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions that the information period ahead of the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries (held alongside the presidential election and the referendum on judges’ pay) was too short for information to be disseminated among the public by interested parties.

Here at we have translated a copy of the treaty in layman’s terms, as well as an explainer of what exactly we are voting on and why.

The Fiscal Compact Referendum: What are we voting on and why?>

Translated: The Fiscal Compact rewritten in layman’s terms

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