Richard Boyd Barrett TD is meeting the Troika between 3 and 4pm this afternoon along with a delegation from the Technical Group. He will be questioning them on a number of controversial key areas within the so called stability programme, particularly the current conflicts around Croke Park, the property tax and the timetables for the sale of state assets including Coillte and the introduction of water charges.
“Richard Boyd Barrett TD said there are whole numbers of areas within the Troika’s austerity programme which are now facing serious resistance from ordinary citizens of this country leaving questions over gross unfairness of these measures but also as to whether the government and the Troika are determined to go ahead with these measures and whether they are open to discussions on alternatives”
“The representatives of public sector workers and others have made it clear that there are other alternatives to further attacks on low and middle income workers such as increased corporation taxes, stimulus measures and higher taxes on the wealthy to deal with Ireland’s economic crisis”.
“I will be challenging the Troika as to whether they are willing to consider such alternatives, given recent statements by senior figures in the IMF that austerity is not working.
I will also be making specific points about cruel property tax and a fairer system of tax that targets high earners in society.
In relation to the sale of state assets and in particular plans to sell the harvesting rights of Coillte, I will be asking the Troika whether the government is required to go ahead with this commitment or whether it has the option not to privatise our forests, if as the government has stated recently they believe this is not good value for the Irish tax-payer. I will be pointing out to them that there is fierce opposition to this disgraceful proposal to sell the harvesting rights to Irish forests.
Given Eamon Gilmore’s recent announcement that the plan to impose water charges is being pushed back from January I will be asking if the Troika has agreed to this and what new timetable is for the introduction of water charges.
Finally, I doubt we will get straight answers from the troika but it will be interesting to see whether they are singing off the same hymn sheet as the government”.