Get organised to fight the attacks

WE HAD the An Bord Snip Nua report with it’s proposal for €5.3 billion in cuts. Now we are awaiting the report from the Commission on Taxation. Media “leaks” indicate that its proposals will include a property tax, water charges and a carbon tax and the guarantee of no increase in corporation tax.

Families are already stretched by the impact of the last two budgets, on top of this for many workers in the private sector they have had to endure pay cuts and public servants have had their pay cut through the imposition of the pension levy.

By Stephen Boyd

Now it seems the government are going to burden you and your family even more. A property tax may be introduced and you will have to pay between €600 – €800 and maybe up to €1,000 a year dependent on the value of your home.

Last year Minister Mary Hanafin said that if water charges existed they would be in the region of €700 a year and the Greens are determined to introduce a carbon tax on the spurious grounds that it will help the environment.

The carbon tax will do little to reduce emissions and even less for the environment. This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to justify what is simply a tax raising exercise. The carbon tax will increase the cost of petrol, home heating oil, coal and peat briquettes. Will they fundamentally reduce our use of these fossil fuels? Are we going to drive less or not heat our homes in the winter because the price of these fuels have increased especially when there is no alternative.

In total these three new taxes and charges could cost working class families thousands of euro a year.

The commission was established supposedly on four principles one of which includes increasing the fairness of the tax system and another that is totally contradictory which is to continue the 12.5% corporation tax!

What are the chances that the Commission recommends the government go after the billionaire tax exiles or the tax reliefs enjoyed by the rich. According to the most recent figures from the Revenue Commissioners 48% of the 400 highest earners pay less than 5% tax on their incomes!

An Bord Snip Nua is proposing that working class people, the unemployed and pensioners should bear the burden of the cost of the recession. Now the Commission on Taxation it seems is going to propose that those who can least afford it will have to pay new taxes and charges and big business and the rich will basically continue on as usual.

These attacks and new taxes should not be accepted. The pensioners who fought and saved their medical cards, the electricians who defeated the race to the bottom in their wages and conditions and the spirit of struggle shown by the Thomas Cook workers should be emulated by the trade union leaders.

The Socialist Party will organise alongside others a struggle to defeat the likes of the water charges and the vicious cuts in social welfare and health and education spending. You should contact the Socialist Party today and find out how you can join us in struggling against these attacks and in the fight to build a political alternative to the rotten establishment parties.

Socialist Party demands

  • A massive state-funded programme of socially useful public works – building schools, hospitals, community and sports facilities and other
  • necessary infrastructure, to get people back to work.
  • No to job losses, companies should be forced to open up their accounts. Profits made during the boom should be used to maintain jobs in the recession.
  • Companies threatening large scale redundancies and closure should be nationalised under democratic workers’ control.
  • We need more teachers, social workers, home helps, nurses, doctors and council workers, not less. Thousands of jobs could be created if the government invested in jobs that would
  • benefit society.
  • Restore the Christmas bonus. No cuts in social welfare payments. Living benefits for all no exemptions or means tests.