The “An Bord Snip” report has outlined a menu of vicious cuts and job losses aimed at working people and the unemployed. The government’s plan to slash the living standards of workers and the unemployed and destroy our health and education services must be opposed.
Based on a press release of Joe Higgins MEP
500,000 people will be unemployed by the time of the next budget as a result of this government’s economic policies. Cutting payments by 5% will throw many into real poverty. The proposals to slash child benefit amount to another attack targeting the most vulnerable in society. The proposal to cut over 10,000 jobs in health and education will add thousands to the dole queues while destroying our already massively underfunded public services.
Brian Lenihan’s talk of a “collective social effort” is laughable. This is a blatant attempt to make working people pay the price for an economic crisis created by bankers, speculators and developers. While the cuts might enable the government to continue to bail out their banker and developer friends to the tune of billions, it will make the economic crisis worse by taking money out of the economy and continuing the vicious downward cycle.
These attacks should not be accepted. The power of working people to defeat the race to the bottom was shown by the electricians’ effective strike. Now the trade unions have a responsibility to wield that power to prevent these cuts being imposed.
Instead of bailing out bankers and developers and attacking ordinary people, an economic plan to get people back to work should be implemented. The Socialist Party calls for a massive state-funded programme of socially useful public works – building schools, hospitals and other necessary infrastructure, to get people back to work. The key sectors of the economy must be taken out of the hands of the profiteers who caused this crisis and brought into the democratic control of working people.