A new type of politics, based on people power
Real recovery for 99% means challenging rule of 1% – Apple should pay back taxes, establish minimum effective corporation tax rate of 12.5%, introduce Millionaire’s Tax and establish debt audit commission
Public investment to develop quality services & infrastructure, strategic enterprise and create decent jobs
Scrap austerity taxes and reverse austerity cuts
Fight for equality – repeal the 8th amendment, end discrimination by schools, separate church and state
The Anti-Austerity Alliance–People Before Profit left bloc launched ‘Common Principles: Radical Alternatives & Real Equality’ today. It outlines a different vision for politics in Ireland, based on mobilising people power, as seen in the movement against the water charges. By harnessing this power, fundamental change can be won.
Key issues highlighted are the need to abolish austerity taxes, reverse austerity cuts and invest in housing, jobs, education and health. There are considerable wealth and resources in our society that could be re-distributed to provide a real recovery for the majority – through seeking the back taxes owed by Apple, imposing a minimum effective rate of corporation tax of 12.5% and taxing the super-rich.
Alongside the anti-water charges movement, the last year has seen a tremendous movement for marriage equality. The demand for equality is one held by a majority of the population, yet real change is held back by the conservative political parties. The AAA-PBP stands unapologetically for a separation of church and state and an end to the discrimination against women, LGBTQ people and immigrants. It calls for an immediate repeal of the 8th amendment ban on abortion and legislation for the right to choose. It also calls for an end to right of schools to discriminate against children because of their religion.
Councillor Brid Smith, AAA-PBP candidate in Dublin South Central commented: “The coming general election represents an historic opportunity replace a discredited political establishment that has brought us years of cronyism, corruption, economic crisis and cruel austerity. These leopards have not changed their spots and after all their previous broken promises, the pre-election pledges of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail are not worth the paper they are written on. Indeed, it tells you everything you need to know about this government that Labour’s main selling point is that you can’t trust Fine Gael. If Labour don’t trust Fine Gael, why on earth should we? And we certainly can’t trust Labour, who abandoned every principle they ever held. People Before Profit and the Anti-Austerity Alliance represent a different type of politics based on people power to bring real and radical change to Irish society. We have shown through our involvement central involvement in the water charges movement and other movements of people power over recent years that real change comes clear principles and a commitment to work with ordinary people to achieve them. In this election we have a choice: go back to the cronyism and failed politics of the past or go forward to a new kind of Ireland based on equality, solidarity and social justice. ”
Councillor Cian Prendiville , AAA-PBP candidate in Limerick City explained: “The government fights tooth and nail to protect the rich from taxes, even being prepared to go to the courts to support Apple’s ‘right’ not to pay the back taxes that they owe of up to €18bn. The end result of not making the rich pay their taxes is that ordinary people pick up the tab through more and more stealth taxes and deepening, US-style inequality. Enda Kenny’s claim in recent days that Ireland is not a ‘brass plate’ operation is bizarre. He should wander down to the IFSC, where for example if he visited 5 Harbour Master Place, he would find 250 companies controlling €2 billion of assets, without a single employee! That is not a basis for sustainable economic growth. For a real recovery for the majority, we should challenge the rule of the 1% – make Apple and the super-rich pay their taxes, introduce a minimum effective rate of corporation tax of 12.5%, a Millionaire’s Tax and higher income tax for earners over €100,000.”
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, AAA-PBP candidate for Dun Laoghaire said: “This government’s claims of success and stability are truly preposterous. The four most basic things imaginable for judging whether a government has met the needs of the people are housing, water, health and education. In all four the government have failed. They have generated the worst housing crisis in living memory. Irish water is a shambles and a scandal. Our health service is a living nightmare for those on trolley’s and waiting lists. Our school classrooms are the most overcrowded in Europe. These failures are a direct result of misguided and unjust austerity and a relentless to drive to privatise public services to benefit corporate interests. We will move in precisely the opposite direction. We will reverse austerity measures and initiate a major public investment programme in housing, health, water services, education, and develop strategic enterprise and industry in a whole range of sectors creating tens of thousands of decent and sustainable jobs.”
Ruth Coppinger TD, AAA-PBP candidate for Dublin West added: “The historic victory of the Marriage Equality referendum and the movement which accompanied it shows that there is a fundamental social change taking place in Irish society. The conservative ‘silent majority’ which the establishment parties have used to hid behind on social issues no longer exists. We want to break the strangle hold that the church has had on Irish society for decades through the separation of church and state. The AAA-PBP stands for the repeal of the 8th amendment and for a women’s right to choose. Women cannot wait any longer. By breaking the grip of the church on education and health we will end the ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood. Discrimination on religious grounds against children entering in schools must be ended; in 2015 the AAA published the Equal Participation in Schools Bill 2015 to this effect. Traveller Ethnicity must be recognised and discrimination against the Traveller community in housing and education should be ended. ”