Thursday, April 16, 2009


The third scrooge budget in six months, introduced in the Dáil last Tuesday, Aibreán/April 7 2009, again failed to produce a national plan for preserving viable employment in the Irish economy and made further savage attacks on the standard of living of ordinary workers: increase in income levies with the bottom rate doubled to 2% and now to be taken on income over €15,000, 25% increase on cigarettes, tax on deposit savings increased from 23% to 25%, so-called “Health” levy doubled to 4% for which workers get no extra benefits in the disintegrating health services and, meanest of all, 50% reduction in unemployment payment for jobless under 20 years of age and the cancellation of the Christmas bonus week for those on social welfare this year. The childcare income supplement will be reduced by half this year and abolished in 2010. A Scrooge budget in word and in deed.

In a further indication of the political direction of this miserable Government and who they are protecting from the results of their criminal irresponsibility in financial affairs, they announced the setting up of a “National Assets Management Agency” which will buy out €90Bn of bank assets which represent the shit-trail of the much vaunted “Celtic Tiger” which is now felled and skinned by the international financial crisis of world capitalism. So, look at the balance sheet offered by the Biffo Bunch; this year the tax increases will cost the PAYE worker €1.8Bn, in 2010 it will be €3Bn and the crony capitalists of the Galway Tent get a €90Bn buyout of their bad debts!!! Of course, the taxpayers will have to stump up for this debt as well over the next 20 years or more. This budget gives the two-fingers to wage workers, ICTU, the demonstrations on our streets and the precarious position of people on fixed incomes like pensioners and social welfare recipients. The financial gangsters are bailed out with taxpayers money with zero gains for the State.

We have already stated that nationalisation of the banks would have accrued these assets to the State at a much lower cost of buying out the shareholders €2 -€3Bn at current market levels. It is unfortunate that Labour at its recent conference in Mullingar last month failed to support this idea on the grounds that the taxpayer would be liable for the outstanding debts. Now we see that the Government proposes to increase this debt to at least €54Bn even with the most realistic discount. A policy of Nationalisation would have provided a clear distinction between Labour and the crony capitalist parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, which is a political necessity if Labour is to make the electoral gains the leadership is expecting at the forthcoming local and European elections later this year. Nationalisation would immediately give the Government control of credit and enable the return of liquidity to an economy caught in a logjam of frozen credit and the results of corporate greed.

This shambolic Government and its pathetic Green Party hangers on is incapable of reviving the Irish economy on a basis of viable employment, reliance on development of our own resources of land and sea and our people’s natural talents and a publicly owned democratically controlled banking system. The Biffo Bunch are addicted to the failed and delusionary policy of keeping this country in hock to a criminal gang of financial pirates, debt swappers and corporate swindlers.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 16 Aibreán/April 2009.

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