Ireland: Budget cuts are ‘criminal’

Brian Leeson.

Irish socialist republican party eirigi chairperson Brian Leeson has labelled the Dublin government’s four-year fiscal adjustment plan “a criminal charter for the wrecking of working class communities”.

Among the measures contained within the plan are:
• A €2.8 billion cut in the social welfare budget.
• The gradual increase of the pension age to 68 by 2028 and the reduction of the pension rate for retired public sector workers.
• The reduction of the minimum wage to €7.65 an hour.
• The raising of university registration fees to €2000.
• The introduction of water charges before 2014.
• Reducing the entry point to the tax system for a single pay-as-you-earn worker by €3000 to €15,300.
• The cutting of at least 24,750 public sector jobs.

Leeson said on November 24: “This government, which is now, in effect, a glorified sub-committee of the IMF, seems determined to drive as many working-class people as possible into poverty and despair.

“Those who are going to bear the brunt of this plan are the elderly, the low paid, those reliant on social welfare and our young people.

Meanwhile, those people who created the crisis we are living through will be free to reap the dividends of their deeply sick system.”

Leeson called for “people to engage in mass acts of civil disobedience in order to drive this government from power.”

He said: “However, the crisis that is being faced in the Twenty-Six Counties is much too serious to be solved by the simple act of a general election.

“None of the establishment parties offer an alternative to the diktats of the International Monetary Funds and the European Union. Indeed, all of them are agreed that the corporation tax should remain at its current low level.

“What is required is the building of a mass movement led by working-class communities, trade unions and leftist political parties that will take to the streets and stay on the streets until the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland is finally recognised.”
[Reprinted from]