IRSP response to the Fine Gael/ Labour austerity budget for 2012
IRSP response to the Fine Gael/ Labour austerity budget for 2012.
As two days of the 2012 budget pantomime draw to a close the harsh realities of the ideological attack on the living standards of the Irish working class becomes clear.
The futility of any austerity budget seems to be lost on most. Trying to make a failed, unjust and discredited capitalist economic system work in Ireland is as productive as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. All this austerity set against the back drop of a 30 year old homeless man dying on the streets of a country with 300,000 empty homes is certainly an indictment of Irish society under capitalism.
Working class people and the vulnerable in Irish society are footing the bill for the obscene greed of the capitalist ruling class. The felon setting and propaganda machine of the FG/Labour 2012 budget announcement has been in full swing since the summer. The media and the political elite have collaborated in a concerted attempt to blame the Free State’s financial meltdown, in some part, to fraudulent welfare claims and perceived “over payment” of state benefits creating a culture of blame on the unemployed and disabled letting the bankers, speculators and developers off the hook.
The IRSP are calling these key cuts to social welfare, education and healthcare totally unacceptable and we can clearly see them for what they are; ideological.
In their race to the bottom they have decided to:
• Base Jobseekers benefits on 5 days instead of 6 decreasing the amount paid to the claimant.
• Standardise child benefit payments over the next 2 years.
• Slash €20.7 million from child benefit payments.
• Cut rent supplement by €55 million.
• Cut the time frame for payments allocated for fuel allowance to the vulnerable and needy by 6 weeks.
• Slash public service sick leave entitlements.
• 20% cut to the higher education budget.
• Increase collage registration fee by €250.
• Slash the public service pay bill by €400 million resulting in thousands of job losses.
• Health care budget to be cut by €543 million.
• Back to school clothing allowance cut.
• Primary school transport payment doubled to €1,000.
• Universal social charge cosmetically changed yet remains.
• Increase of pay cap for advisers raised by €35,000.
The FG/Labour coalition to date has cut €3.8 billion off the 2012 budget to satisfy the IMF, EU and the ECB all while preparing to pay the fat cat senior Anglo Irish bond holders €1.25 billion in a few weeks time.
With FG/Labour working towards implementing €12.4 billion worth of austerity measures over the next four years along with cutting 23,300 public sector jobs in the same time frame it paints a bleak picture for the Irish working class living under capitalism.
The Slash and Cut Coalition of Fine Gael and Labour have disproportionately attacked the living standards of the Irish working class whilst making no serious attempt to tax the wealthy who have only grown richer since 2008.
With unemployment on the rise these cuts will certainly only add to the ever growing dole queues and immigration figures and make the hardship of those directly affected by the capitalist economic system even worse.
The IRSP will continue to espouse empowerment for ordinary people and we would encourage the Irish working class to support the progressive left in our fight back against ideologically driven austerity measures. Only by uniting all the progressive elements in Irish society and taking the fight to the establishment on the streets can we expect to achieve real lasting change and destroy the inequality that is prevalent at the heart of Irish society. The Irish people must awaken and stand firm against these economic attacks, anger should be the prevailing mood as we must make those in power fully aware of our strength as a class.
Saoirse go deo.