Figures from the CSO yesterday show the impact of the economic crisis and the failure of the austerity strategy of the government and the Troika. The unemployment rate at the time of the Census in 2011 amongst 15-19 year olds was 59% – up from 26% in 2006. Amongst those aged 20 – 24, the rate was 35% in 2011, up from 13% in 2006. these are the people truly bearing the burden of the bank bailouts.
Joe Higgins, United Left Alliance TD said,“The continued high rate of unemployment, at nearly 15%, means that there is little prospect of a job for many young people. The erosion of demand in the domestic economy – a continuous decline of consumer spending and of employment in construction, manufacturing and retail – caused by cuts in public spending and tax increases on average earners, means that young people have very few oppertunities to get a job. Most of them are on reduced benefit, and are dependent on parents for accomodation. Meanwhile their parents are being hit with tax increases, such as the household tax”.
Richard Boyd Barrett, United Left Alliance TD said,
“With almost 80,000 young people unemployed and 70,000 gone through emigration, we are looking at a lost generation of Irish youth.
The choice is clear. We either continue on the Fine Gael-Labour-Troika route of pouring bailout money into the banks and finance industry, with the prospect of long term poverty facing young people, or we cease payments to banks and bondholders and put resources into job creation in the domestic economy.
The first step on that route is to break from the cuts strategy of the last and future budgets, and to tax the wealthy”.
Political establishment an accessory to crimes of banking elite by making ordinary people not the bondholders suffer the losses
Responding to the arrest of Sean Fitzpatrick (pictured left), former chair of Anglo Irish Bank, Richard Boyd Barrett TD of People Before Profit/United Left Alliance said: “Nobody who has suffered the austerity policies forced on us since the crisis began will shed a tear for Sean Fitzpatrick. The lending practices of his and other banks to developers and speculators were a huge factor in the scale of the crisis the country is in.
“However the response of the government at the time to the emerging banking crisis which is essence has been stood over by this government is in itself criminal. A conscious choice has been made by the political establishment in Ireland backed up by the troika to put people through the ringer in order that bankers here and abroad do not pay for their mistakes.”
Joe Higgins TD, United Left Alliance said: “The banking guarantee of September 2008 stands the most catastrophic decisions made by a government since the foundation of the state. The former Fianna Fáil government should be in the dock alongside Sean Fitzpatrick for seeing to it that those who recklessly lent to Anglo be compensated by a transference of wealth from the working people and poor of this country to them.
“If Sean Fitzpatrick is handed down a jail sentence in three years time, which is how long we are told the process will take place, no sentence of any duration will serve justice. Justice will only be served by non-payment of the odious debts he and other bankers are responsible for.”
People Before Profit meeting this evening @ 8.00p.m. in the Three Mermaids bar , Listowel.
Speakers are TD Richard Boyd Barrett and Sarah O’Rourke (People Before Profit Alliance).
All are welcome, if you have questions or issues which you feel are not being addressed , come tonight and have your say.
Yesterday saw over 1,000 people take part in an anti-austerity protest outside the Dail. People from household charge, hospital cuts, school cuts, special education cuts, home help, rent allowance cuts campaigns and much more from across the country came together at the Central Bank on Dame Street and marched on Dail Eireann before the Dail shuts for summer break.
Speakers on the platform included Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Joe Higgins TD, Tina MacVeigh (Dublin South Household Charges Campaigner), Thomas Pringle TD, John Halligan TD, Seamus Healy TD, Paul Murphy MEP, Bus Cuts campaigners and more.
The protest ended with participants taking part in a symbolic tearing up of household charge letters and dumping them in a bin.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer – it’s official, says Richard Boyd Barrett
PBPA TD lashes gross unfairness and inequality in the distribution of austerity burden and calls for radical shift in tax policy
Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance/ULA challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny today during leaders questions over the “gross inequality and unfairness” in the manner in which “the pain of austerity policies has been imposed on the least well-off and most vulnerable sections of Irish society, while the wealthiest people in the country have been protected and in some cases have actually increased their incomes.
Deputy Boyd Barrett’s challenge to the Taoiseach comes in the aftermath of Social Justice Ireland’s recent report showing that the poorest households in Irish society have seen their disposable incomes decline by 18% whereas the wealthiest households have seen their incomes actually rise by 4%.
Deputy Boyd Barrett also referred to answers he received recently from the Minister for Finance in response to Parliamentary Questions on the annual incomes of the highest earners in the country and the levels of effective tax paid.
The answers provided by the Minister to questions submitted by Deputy Boyd Barrett detailed the earnings the top 10,000, top 1%, top 10%, top 20% of earners and showed that these very high earners are only paying effective income tax rates of between 29% and 21%. For example, the top 10,000 earners with total earnings of €5.959 billion and average earnings of €595,905 per year paid only €1.715 billion in income tax, an effective tax rate of 29%. The top 10% of earners with total earnings of €29.6 billion and average earnings of €136,710 per year only paid €7.08 billion in income tax, an effective rate of 24%.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance-ULA will today challenge the EU-ECB-IMF “Troika” over the increased poverty, suffering and economic damage caused by their austerity programme at special meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, at which the Troika representatives will attend.
The meeting commenced at 2pm today and is expected to run for several hours.
Deputy Boyd Barrett, who is Finance spokesperson for People Before Profit-ULA and a member of the Finance Committee said: “The Troika need to be seriously challenged over their definition of “success” when it comes to the so-called “stability” programme for Ireland. How can they define as success a programme that is leading directly to more unemployment, emigration, poverty and suffering for ordinary people. You really have to wonder do ordinary human beings figure at all in the reckoning of these Troika austerity merchants.”
“The European Anti-Poverty Network, for example, has shown recently in their submission to the Troika how the austerity programme has directly contributed to increased unemployment, poverty and social inequality. It just beggars belief that the Troika can talk about “success” and “stability” in this context. It is absolutely clear that the austerity programme has devastated the domestic economy by depressing demand and that this in turn is seriously hampering any prospect of economic growth reviving to the level that would help the country get out of its current dire economic straits.
The stupidity of their agenda is even more apparent, when it is now becoming increasingly clear that austerity policies being demand by the EU authorities in other European countries are now leading to recession across Europe, which will in turn choke off any chance of Ireland having an export-led recovery. Europe is our biggest trading partner. If austerity depresses demand in Europe – as it is doing – and thus chokes off our export markets, and at the same time our domestic economy is being strangled, we are heading towards economic and social disaster.”
Richard Boyd Barrett TD first to raise issue of Minister of Health and investment in private nursing homes, raising the issue int he Dail on Tuesday 19th June 2012 Question 636 :
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit:
“To ask the Minister for Health if he will clarify any interests he has in private nursing homes in general and in The Greenhills Nursing Home, County Tipperary in particular.”
James Reilly TD, Fine Gael,(Minister, Department of Health):
“The Deputy will be aware that pursuant to the provisions of the Ethics in Public Office Acts, 1995 and 2001, members of Dáil Eireann are required to disclose any relevant interests in the Register of Interests established under the Acts. Accordingly I have stated in the Register that I have a quarter share interest in a property in Tipperary which houses the Green Hills Nursing Home. The nursing home business itself is run by a separate company in which I have no involvement. As has been frequently reported in the media already, the issue of the ownership of the wider property was the subject of a court case which ended in agreement earlier this year. My interest in the property has been transferred into a blind trust and it is the intention for that interest to be divested as soon as is practicable.”