Author Archives: Joe Higgins TD

Natural step from boycotting home taxes to opposing the Austerity Treaty

Ordinary people in this State can make a stunning statement that will reverberate throughout Europe by voting No to the Austerity Treaty on 31 May. A rejection of the treaty here would massively increase the pressure for a change to the disastrous austerity policies of slash and burn, that are destroying millions of  livelihoods and society itself in countries from Greece to Ireland.

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Mahon Report exposes endemic corruption in Irish politics

The massive opposition across the State to the Household Tax has featured prominently in the media in recent days. Over the next while, the Mahon Tribunal Report that will feature strongest. What should not be lost sight of is that there is a strong connection between the two issues.

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Criminal policies of privatisation

The decision by the government to sell off €3 billion worth of state assets is arguably the most economically and socially criminal of the many criminal policies implemented in this State over the past three years in the interest of salvaging the financial system in Europe from the consequences of the speculative activities of its big players. It is the wrong policy at any time but most especially at a time of major crisis in the Irish economy due to a collapse of demand and a related collapse in private investment in job creation.

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More cuts to education for children, yet more bailouts for bondholders

Last week thousands of parents, teachers and pupils staged a passionate demonstration at the Department of Education in Dublin. They were from schools benefiting from the programme known as ‘Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools’ or DEIS which was designed to counter the many ill effects on children living in areas of high unemployment and poverty.

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Budget will expose Labour Party dishonesty

Budget Day looms for the Fine Gael/Labour Government. On Tuesday, December 6, it will be clear for all to see how this government lives up to the claims of its leaders upon taking office in March, that it was the product of a ‘democratic revolution’ and represented a fundamental break with the cynical establishment politics of the past.

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The Markets rule in Europe

As recently as a year ago when I and others on the Left wrote and spoke about ‘the dictatorship of the financial markets’ many people thought we were exaggerating. However after the events of the past few weeks, can there be any doubt but that we are witnessing a full frontal assault on democratic rights by European bondholders, bankers and speculators facilitated by the leadership of the European Union?

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Labour has cravenly capitulated to all the demands for savage cuts

Winning the Presidential and Dublin West By elections was hailed as a great day for the Labour Party. While these victories undoubtedly took some of the pressure off the party and its leader, Eamon Gilmore, a sober assessment will conclude that these amount to a small upward blip on a graph that will soon be seen to be on a consistent downward trajectory.

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Further savage cuts to Blanchardstown Hospital

The dedicated staff at all levels in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, should be forgiven if they are in a state of some confusion and great anger this morning. As a result of a huge effort by them involving innovation, imagination, dedication and cooperation, the hospital was recently rated by the Health Services Executive as having among the highest clinical standards in the country. Furthermore it is not only reaching its service targets for 2011, but is 4% over.

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