Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ireland 2011: Millions struggle to make ends meet

The "What's Left” survey published by the Irish League of Credit Unions makes for grim reading. Even a glance at the figures presented by this nationwide survey of 1,000 people blows apart any hope or illusions that people are coping with this crisis or optimistic about the future.

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Minimum wage cut reversal sweetened by €400 million bonus for bosses!

With much fanfare, the government recently announced that it had got “permission” from their EU and IMF masters to reverse the cut in the minimum wage institued by the previous government. Fine Gael declared that the decision showed the government was “committed to protecting lower paid workers” while Labour TD Derek Nolan said it showed that “Labour's decision to enter government has made a real difference in people's lives”.

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“Labour is now irretrievably a party of the Right”

During the General Election campaign the Socialist Party had no illusions about the reactionary role that the Labour Party would play in a coalition government with Fine Gael. We knew that Labour Leader Gilmore’s angry speeches in the Dail against Fianna Fail policy on the banks when he was in opposition, was just so much bluster that would fade the instant he was ensconced in government.

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Bank staff scapegoated – Union must fight to save 3,000 jobs

When Dell ceased production in Ireland they employed 3,000 workers directly, and the loss of these jobs was correctly seen as devastating for the people involved and the wider economy. Now a similarly huge jobs massacre is being carried out, but this time in the so-called “nationalised” banks.

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Should mortgage debts be written off?

The question of banks writing off mortgage debt of householders unable to pay has hit the headlines in the past weeks. Bank of Ireland, AIB and Bank of Scotland have stated they are considering some form of debt write-off.  Ireland’s debt crisis is a major burden on the banks and the Irish economy. As part of their recent bank stress test the Central Bank estimated €9.5 billion in bad mortgage debts in the Irish banks between now and 2013. The high level of personal debt is adding to the economy’s deflationary spiral.

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