The Socialist Party’s 8 point manifersto sets out our alternative to cuts and crisis. As well as being available here, it has been delivered into almost every single house in the 9 constituencies in which we are standing.
To create jobs & defend living standards we can’t pay the bank debts!
Slashing spending will make the crisis much worse, guaranteeing bankruptcy. The only way to overcome deficits or debt is through economic growth.
The idea that Ireland would not be able to get credit and would financially collapse if we don’t pay the bondholders is wrong. Working class people in countries defied IMF and forced them to retreat. Rather than being isolated, many people internationally would support such a stand. There are many sources for getting credit, including within the domestic economy.
These debts will choke the economy (the interest alone will be €10 billion in 2014, 20% of all tax revenue). Not paying these debts, linked to taking key aspects of the economy into public ownership would give the opportunity to plan major investment and create growth and jobs.
- Resist the attacks on living standards, fight for jobs.
- Don’t pay the bankers’ debts and reject the EU/IMF austerity diktats.
1 Create tens of thousands of jobs now
There are 100,000 unemployed building workers as well as a need for vital infrastructure like proper public transport, modern water infrastructure, broadband, health facilities and new schools while billions are being wasted on bankers and speculators (€4.8 billion paid in interest on the debt alone in 2010).
- Create tens of thousands of jobs by investing in building and staffing essential infrastructure and the public services we require
2 Reverse the cuts in pay & services
People’s rights to public services and benefits should not be relegated behind parasitic speculators “right” to make super profits. These cuts will result in a downward economic spiral of more unemployment, more indebtedness and more cuts.
- Reverse all cuts in social welfare, health & education.
- Restore pay rates & the Minimum Wage.
- Scrap the Universal Social Charge & Water & Home Taxes
3 Take control of the banks – Reduce mortgage repayments
With the bad debts scrapped, the banking system should be nationalised but not as this government has done, where they refuse to lend to ordinary people or small businesses, but publicly controlled and used for the benefit of society.
- Nationalise all the banks, guaranteeing the savings of all ordinary depositors, and run them democratically under public control and management.
- Reduce mortgages & repayments to affordable levels. Outlaw repossessions. Take the vacant houses & provide homes at affordable prices in communities fully resourced with public services.
Make the rich pay for THEIR crisis
4 Tax big business and the super rich
Ireland’s millionaires have approximately €120 billion. The top 10% have 25% of total income, 11 times that of the bottom 10%. e18.5 billion was transfered out of the state from the bank accounts of rich Irish people in 2010. The idea that multi-national corporations will run at the hint that Corporation Tax will go up is an attempt to intimidate people. Countries with low tax on profits are worst hit by this crisis.
Taxing the rich, combined with real economic growth would bridge the budget deficit. For example, corporation tax at the Austrian level of 25% (low in european terms), and scrapping tax reliefs to the rich, could raise e1o billion per annum Attempts to siphon wealth out of Ireland to evade tax must be stopped, if necessary with capital controls.
- Make the rich & big business pay!
- Scrap the subsidies and tax reliefs to the rich and big business
- Tax wealth and increase Corporation Tax.
5 Develop an economy that can create jobs
Jobs are the key issue. There was a 31% fall in physical investment alone, so the idea that private foreign or Irish investors will get us out of the crisis and create jobs is fantasy. In reality, they are on strike and won’t use the wealth to benefit society. The only chance of developing productive manufacturing industry and overcoming mass unemployment is through major investment, including in Research and Development.
That will only happen if the major economic resources, including gas and oil resources off the west coast (worth in excess of €500 billion), are taken into democratic public ownership and management and used in a planned way for people’s needs not short term profits.
- End the abuse of wealth by the capitalist establishment. Take the economy and natural resources into democratic public ownership and plan the development of a real manufacturing base, sustainable jobs and a secure future for all.
For a socialist alternative!
6 End the Mercs, Perks & high salaries of politicians
TDs, Ministers and Senators get huge salaries and “gravy train” expenses. Retiring Ministers get a pension jackpot! Most of these are completely divorced from the lives of ordinary people. In turn more and more decisions at central and local government level reflect the demands of big business not the public interest.
- Abolish the Senate & end exorbitant salaries & pensions of TDs & Ministers. Pay them the average industrial wage & verifiable expenses only.
7 Establish a new party for working class people
None of the Dáil parties represent working class people, (workers, the unemployed, pensioners and the young). Labour now accepts the market. Sinn Fein is implementing huge cutbacks in the North. Vote United Left Alliance and help found a powerful new party to represent working class people.
- Elect Socialist Party/ULA TDs so we can launch a new party to organise working class people
8 A government for people’s needs, not profit
We need a real alternative. With the establishment of a new mass party the struggle for an alternative government for working people becomes real, and that combined with reclaiming the unions and turning them into fighting organisations can create a movement that would be powerful enough to transform society.
- For a government based on working class people that implements socialist policies & puts people before profit.