Build for a One day general strike
The Fianna Fail/Green Party Government, in alliance with the IMF and the EU, has declared war on working people and the unemployed.
Thousands of euro will be taken out of people’s pockets. Low and middle-income workers will face increased taxes together with a slashing of public services. Public sector workers, some of whom have already seen pay cuts of up to 20%, will face further attacks.
The unemployed will face a 10% cut in social welfare, while child benefit will be further cut. These cuts will hammer households that are struggling to pay gas and ESB bills and move the threat of mortgage default and house repossession up the agenda.
A college fee increase to €2000 will turn the clock back and make it impossible for many young people to go to third level.
The cut to the minimum wage will have a devastating effect pushing thousands of low paid workers further into poverty. Two sets of new double taxation will be introduced from 2012 – a home tax and water tax- adding hundreds to annual household bills.
Cutbacks will worsen crisis
These cuts will not create economic recovery. If austerity worked, the crisis would be over by now. €9 billion has already been cut from public spending by the government and government finances have worsened.
Instead, the cuts that are implemented are deflationary, having a knock-on effect by reducing spending, increasing unemployment and creating a downward spiral.
Without economic growth, which will not be delivered by austerity, the economy will sink under a mountain of debt (with national debt due to go significantly over 100% of national income), a significant portion of which was created by the banks.
There is an alternative to austerity and crisis:
(1) No to the IMF/EU Bailout – “Burn” the bondholders
The “bailout” is a recipe for bankruptcy and a slashing of living standards. The hedge funds and speculators who have bonds in Irish banks and sovereign bonds should not be paid back.
(2) NATIONALISE THE BANKING SYSTEM UNDER DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF WORKING PEOPLE
The banks should be nationalised and amalgamated into one state bank, with a new democratic board representative of working people. End the bank bailouts.
(3) REVERSE THE CUTS
(4) FOR A PROGRESSIVE TAX SYSTEM
Irish millionaires own €121 billion. A 5% wealth tax on the assets of those millionaires would raise €6 billion and eliminate the need for any “adjustment” next year.; tax loopholes for the rich should be abolished and corporation tax significantly increased.
(5) FOR A SOCIALLY USEFUL NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Launch a socially useful national development plan to provide direct employment to get people back to work building necessary infrastrucuture and facilities like schools, hospitals and provide insulation. We need more public sector workers like nurses and teachers, not less!
(6) AXE THE PAY RATES OF THE ELITE
The sky-high salaries and perks of private and public sector bosses should be abolished.
(7) FOR A 35 HOUR WEEK WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY
Cut the working week to 35 hours without loss in pay and share out the work.
(8) NO TO PRIVATISATION
Renationalise privatised companies like Eircom and nationalise the Corrib Gas Field and other key natural resources worth tens of billions of euro.
(9) END THE RULE OF THE MARKET
End the power of unelected “markets” made up of speculators and investors by nationalising the financial institutions and hedge funds internationally.
(10) FOR A SOCIALIST PLAN OF PRODUCTION, IN IRELAND AND INTERNATIONALLY
Nationalise the key sectors of the economy and democratically plan it towards meeting the needs of ordinary people not the superprofits of a capitalist elite.
Organise for 24 hour general strike
The massive demonstration on Saturday 27 November shows the opposition that exists to this government and its austerity policies. However, the trade union leaders have no strategy to bring the struggle further.
Workers in the trade unions should organise and build pressure for a 24 hour general strike, which would be the start of a serious campaign of industrial action against the austerity policies of this government and the next.
United Left Alliance
The United Left Alliance, involving the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance and the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group at this stage, was launched last week. For the Socialist Party, the ULA is a very important step forward in the direction of the building of a broad mass workers’ party.
The next government, Fine/Gael & Labour, has signed up to the IMF/EU budget deficit target of 3% by 2015 – a target that will not be achieved without massive cuts and tax increases on working people. The ULA has a real chance to win six seats in the election and can be the political opposition inside the Dail as well as helping to build a mass movement in the workplaces and on the streets against cutbacks and attacks.