News & Analysis

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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Unemployment Crisis – Organise to Defend Jobs

By Ray McLoughlin

BAUSCH AND Lomb – 200, KPMG – 200, lay offs in the first week of March continue the disastrous pattern of job losses in Ireland. Over 300 people were made redundant each working day in February in the South, 63,198 signed on the dole in the first two months of 2009! Unemployment is skyrocketing towards 500,000.

Redundancies are happening in all sectors, light engineering, construction, financial services. Further job losses are being proposed in transport, education and across the public services. Workers are looking into a black abyss of job losses, with all the consequent hardships and uncertainties facing them and their families? What leadership are the trade union leaders giving to the victims of this failure of capitalism?

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We need a one-day national strike

By Stephen Boyd

DEFEND OUR JOBS, PAY & CONDITIONS

THE DESPAIR, anger and fear felt by many at the economic catastrophe which is unfolding at an unprecedented speed is reflected in the 120,000 who marched on 21 February, the huge percentages voting in favour of strike action in union after union and the collapse in support for the government.

Working class people are looking for a way out of the crisis. However, they have no faith in the government’s ability to deliver a recovery.

Brian Cowen falsely claims the government has no choice – it must cut public expenditure otherwise the budget deficit will spiral out of control and the national debt will be a major burden for years to come.

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