Indictment of the government’s record on combating poverty

The reported results of research by the philanthropic Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany which show that Ireland ranks among the worst in the western world in terms of social justice is a fresh indictment on this government.

On a number of key indicators the Foundation researched including what they term ‘poverty avoidance’, ‘education access’ and ‘generational equality’ Ireland finished in the lower reaches of the 31 OECD countries which formed the basis of the study.

The basis upon which these conclusions were reached come before the recent cut back budget has come into effect and obviously come in advance of the four further years of austerity ahead of us if the political and economic establishment get away with it unchallenged.

However I have no doubt that working people, the unemployed and students will not endure four years of austerity. The forthcoming election will itself mark a rejection of this strategy but mass movements of people power and strikes will be required to prevent the incoming Fine Gael/Labour government from continuing with these attacks unabated.

Such a protest movement, coupled with the building of a genuine mass political alternative on the left is the only route to combat the poverty and inequality that has been highlighted by the Bertelsmann Foundation. The Socialist Party and the United Left Alliance will be at the heart of building that alternative.