The innocuously named An Bord Snip Nua report which has just been published contains a menu of vicious cutbacks and job losses aimed at working people, the unemployed and their families.Based on a Socialist Party leaflet If implemented, these cuts will be the biggest attack on our living standards in over 20 years. They must be opposed. There are over 400,000 people unemployed, with more being added each day. It is estimated that there will be over half a million people on the dole by the budget in December. Their solution to the jobs crisis – throw more people onto the scrapheap!
The report proposes that almost 20,000 jobs should be slashed in vital public services including health and education which will add to already bumper dole queues while putting further pressure on these under-funded services
The slashing of child benefits and cutting medical cards for many people will hit some of the most vulnera- ble in our society. Meanwhile those at the tops of Irish society are comparatively untouched. This is Robin Hood in reverse. For too long they have been robbing from the poor to benefit the rich. It has to stop.
The An Bord “Slash” Report which was drawn up by five wealthy economists on behalf of the government is a blatant attempt to make working people pay the price of an economic crisis created by bankers, speculators and developers. These cuts may enable the government to continue to bail out their banker and developer friends to the tune of billions, but it will make the economic crisis worse by taking money out of the economy and continu-ing the vicious downward cycle.
Water Charges to be re-introduced!
No Way We Won’t Pay
12 years after the Socialist Party led the campaign to have water charges abolished the Bord Snip report recommends their re-introduction. This is likely to be backed up by the Commission on Taxation report later this month.
Water is not free it is paid for by our general taxation. The decision to implement a direct charge is double taxation. If introduced it will rise relentlessly. The government are also going to create one organisation that over see water services this coupled with a new charge will be a prelude to privatisation of water services as it has been with waste services in the past.
The Socialist Party will immediately launch a campaign against the re-introduction of this double tax and organise a mass non-payment campaign of civil disobedience to defeat this tax.
No cut to the minimum wage!
The employers, big business and government politicians are attempting to use the economic recession to drive down the minimum wage. This is simply designed to boost the profits of the bosses in Ireland. Any change to the mini- mum wage will hit young people particularly hard as they are the most likely to end up working in low paid jobs. The trade unions have come out forcibly against any cut but we need more than words they should organise now to resist any cuts in minimum wage levels.
Socialist Alternative to the cuts
Instead of bailing out bankers and developers and attacking ordinary people, an economic plan to get people back to work should be implemented.
- A massive state-funded programme of socially useful public works – building schools, hospitals, community and sports facilities and other necessary infrastructure, to get people back to work.
- No to job losses, companies should be forced to open up their accounts. Profits made during the boom should be used to maintain jobs in the recession.
- Companies threatening large scale redundancies and closure should be nationalised under democratic workers control
- We need more teachers, social workers, home helps, nurses, doctors and council workers, not less. Thousands of jobs could be created if the government invested in jobs that would benefit society.
- Restore the Christmas bonus. No cuts in social welfare payments. Living benefits for all no exemptions or means tests.
The Socialist Party stands for a society where the wealth is used for the benefit of the majority, this means taking key sectors of the economy out of the hands of the profiteers who caused this crisis including major banks and industry are taking them into democratic public ownership linked to a plan of production to meet the needs of society not the profits of a tiny few.