News & Analysis

Action not “social solidarity” will defeat budget attacks

By Stephen Boyd

COMMENTING ON the aftermath of the budget, Stephen Collins political editor of The Irish Times said: “This year the silence has been eerie, mainly because the large body of PAYE workers who are being hammered by the budget have no one to directly represent their interests.”

Six hundred thousand of those PAYE workers are members of trade unions and yes, they aren’t being represented by their “leaders.” Aside from a few comments bemoaning aspects of the budget, there was an “eerie silence” from the so-called leaders of the trade union movement.

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Deflationary budget will cost jobs and fuel recession

By Kevin McLoughlin

AT THE start of his speech, Brian Lenihan talked about taking from each according to their means. It sounded as if he was just to about to quote Karl Marx. Alas, very quickly it became clear that he was once again putting his hands deep into the pockets of the working class. His imposition of huge tax increases represents a savage cut in wages.

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Budget: €90 billion bailout for the super rich

By Michael Murphy

IN A graphic validation to the old adage “one law for the rich and one for the poor”, the decision of the Fianna Fail/Green Party government to buy the bad debts from the Irish banks for up to €90 billion while making cuts to the poorest sections of society in the form of social welfare Christmas payments and rent allowance is a scandal.

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Waterford Crystal – Nationalisation was the only option

By Cillian Gillespie and Stephen Boyd

AN EIGHT week long occupation of Waterford Crystal ended after the workforce reluctantly voted to accept a "deal". One worker at the end of the four hour long meeting said that he felt the deal was "like a gun to the head" of the workforce.

There were 708 people working in Waterford Crystal, now there will be only 176 jobs some of them are only guaranteed for six months. The so-called redundancy fund is a miserly €10 million to be divided between more than 800 workers and ex-workers. The workers’ pensions (affecting 1,800 people) are still in a mess and the fund is €120 million short.

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NI: Visteon workers battle for jobs

Visteon/ Ford workers in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield have taken the lead in the struggle to save jobs. In Belfast the response of the workforce to the news that the factory was to shut, and to the attempt by administrators to remove them from the premises, was to occupy the plant. PETER HADDEN reports

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Joe Higgins v Jim Power debate

recorded 16/04/2009 by Cathal Brennan Videos from last night’s debate in Wynn’s Hotel in Abbey Street Dublin. Jim Power, economist with Friends First, debated Joe Higgins, of the Socialist Party, about the current economic crisis and the way forward.

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Budget savages workers

By Stephen Boyd

THE FIANNA Fail and Green government would like you to believe that the budget has hit everyone equally, but this is a bared-faced lie. The two budgets we’ve had so far in 2009 have cost the "average family" approximately €7,000 a year. Every section of the working class and middle class were hit by the budget.

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SR Technics: Fight for re-nationalisation

By Councillor Clare Daly

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the loss of 1100 jobs in SR Technics and the virtual shutting of the operation is a cynical exploitation of the situation in the Irish economy by this wealthy and successful multi-national. The impact on Dublin’s northside would at least be on the scale of Waterford Crystal and Dell in Waterford and Limerick respectively. It must be halted.

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Stop subsidising the rich – tax them!

By Ann-Katrin Orr

THE GOVERNMENT have come up with yet another outrageous claim; this time we are expected to believe that the rich pay their fair share of taxes!

Brian Lenihan is trying to paint the image of a “highly progressive” Irish taxation system in which those who earn most pay most. To back up his claim he said that the top 1% of earners (who earn more than €200,000) pay 20% of all income tax. But this figure is misleading and Lenihan’s description of the taxation system is miles removed from reality.

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ICTU’s 10 Point Plan: Is it fairer or better?

By Kevin McLoughlin

ICTU’s PLAN was to threaten a national strike on 30 March in the hope of forcing new negotiations around their 10 point so-called social solidarity programme There is a better, fairer way.

ICTU’s social solidarity programme relates to jobs, unemployment, pay and the banks. It says those who lose their jobs should be kept at 80% of their earnings for two years, via social welfare, on condition that they go on retraining. It also says bosses should resist lay-offs, and instead consider cutting the working week.

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