At a press conference today TDs for the United Left Alliance announced plans to launch a public campaign of resistance to property tax and austerity. The ULA will be supporting with the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT) in organising public meetings across the country focused on mobilising resistance and protests against the property charge and austerity prior to December’s budget.
The key objective for the ULA over the coming months is to unite and mobilise the different groups under attack from vicious austerity measures into a campaign of resistance.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said in a statement, “We are reaching tipping point in terms of the vicious attacks being planning imposed on ordinary families in order to bail-out bankers and protect the super-wealthy. Huge numbers of low and middle income workers, the unemployed, pensioners, the elderly, the disabled, pensioners and young people, quite simply cannot take anymore. The property tax and planned budget cuts in social welfare and health will push hundreds of thousands of people over the edge. We intend to spend the coming months out on the ground organising people to unite, resist and protest against this unjust austerity – just as we did with the household charge. We will challenge the cynical divide and rule tactics of this government designed to play different sectors of our society off against one another and arguing for a broad united movement of resistance against austerity and the continuing bail-out of the banks in the run-in towards the budget. Our society and our economy will be crushed unless we stop this austerity juggernaut with a mass movement of people power on the streets. Building such a movement will be our priority over the coming weeks.”
In her statement, Joan Collins TD said, “Linking the household charge to the processing or payment of student 3rd level grants is the lowest of the low. Local authorities have no authority to do this. The Student Act 2011 does not provide for withholding of the payment of a student grant in foot of non-payment of the household tax. Any council who attempts to make this link will be challenged by the CAHWT and I urge student unions around the country to do so also”.
Speaking at the press conference, Joe Higgins TD said, “The scandalous threat to withhold or delay the payment of third level grants to students by some county councils if their parents haven’t paid the household tax represents an escalation by the government in their efforts to bully money out of people. Instead it has galvanised joint action by the student movement and the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes to force a retreat. Similarly the threat of court action, property tax and water taxes in the coming weeks and months will be met by a renewed and reinvigorated campaign of mass public meetings and protests by ordinary people. ”
Clare Daly TD said, “Just as we predicted when we were opposing the household charge it’s now clear that ordinary households on low and middle incomes will be paying 3,4, and 5 times as much as they were asked to pay last year. The Government said the property tax would be fairer, how can you possibly describe this as fairer. It will be simply impossible for hundreds of thousands of families to pay this on top of all the cuts and stealth taxes that have already been imposed on them. We saw an unprecedented movement and resistance against the household charge, if anything the resistance to property tax will be even greater.”
Seamas Healy TD said, “South Tipperary County Council have announced that they will not base the issuing of student grants on the payment of the household charge which is a victory following protests by the CAHWT in Tipperary on Monday and Students last night”.