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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2011

Ireland: Resist latest austerity attacks

The Fine Gael/Labour coalition government in the Irish republic announced yet another austerity package on 4 December, amounting to a €3.8 billion (£3.27 billion) cut, to deal with its financial deficit caused by the banking failure and the capitalist recession. This attack on living standards is part of a €12.4 billion package of austerity measures planned over the next four years.

Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny while being "painfully aware" of the country's high unemployment rate (14.5%) claimed that there was no alternative but to cut more public spending and increase taxes in order to plug the £16 billion budget deficit.

This latest tranche of austerity measures is on top of the previous savage cuts imposed on the working and middle classes by the previous Fianna Fáil/Green Party government dancing to the tune of the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - part of a €24 billion banking bailout last March. In this budget €1.4 billion will be slashed from education, health and welfare spending, including a reduction in child benefit, disability benefit and fuel allowance. Some families will be €1,000 a year worse off as a result. University student charges will also be increased as will VAT.

Last month in the Dáil (parliament) Socialist Party TD (MP) Joe Higgins attacked the government's "savage austerity cuts on ordinary people's living standards" which will "plunge society deeper into economic crisis".

Joe went on to describe the catastrophe imposed on the Greek people by austerity measures three years ago. Then it was falsely argued by capitalist politicians and bankers that if the Greek people accepted these cuts, recovery would be on the way. Joe further rounded on the Labour Party which, while claiming to represent ordinary people, "slavishly submits to the diktat" of the capitalists.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 7 December 2011:


Socialist Party feature

Con-Dems pile on the misery - 'Enough is enough'


Socialist Party editorial

Eurozone crisis - capitalists have no solution


Workplace news and analysis

Cuts and misery - it doesn't have to be like this

Socialist MEP supports public sector strike

"The genie is out of the bottle"

30 November strike: a historic day!

Building a fighting union - interview with Steve Hedley

Defend the JIB, victory to the sparks!

Reinstate Paul Kelly: Solidarity with Portsmouth RMT

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tory sleaze is back!

Reading the riots

All in it together

Them & Us


Climate change

Climate change and extreme weather


Housing crisis

Homes Crisis: Fund housing need - not fat cat greed!


International socialist news and analysis

Portugal: Build on the general strike action

Ireland: Resist latest austerity attacks

Tamil Solidarity: Gearing up for 2012

Brazilian socialists remember Socrates


Socialist Party reviews

Theatre review

When workers planned production: the Lucas Aerospace plan


 

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Related links:

Ireland:

triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

triangleCovid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

triangleFurther protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

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trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

triangleGE Aviation workers march to save jobs

Capitalist:

triangleAnniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

Budget:

triangleLeeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

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