Economy, Environment

National Organising Forum of Campaign to take place next Saturday at 1:30pm in Teacher’s Club in 36 Parnell Square

“Minister Phil Hogan’s statement yesterday that people will ‘pay through the nose’ for water is a true indication of what ordinary people will be faced with in a short few years if the government gets its way.

“Despite his other utterances about the recently announced Household Charge being ‘only €100’ people well understand that as we seen with the bin tax this is but a first stage of what ESRI economist John Fitzgerald estimates will be combined water and property taxes of over €1,000 per annum.

“Early indications from street stalls activities and door to door canvases by activists in communities alongside opinion polls show deep opposition in society to these charges and a widespread willingness to engage in an active boycott campaign.

“A number of left political groups, residents associations and ordinary community and trade union activists have initiated the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes. We see ourselves building a mass campaign of non-payment throughout the country in the same tradition as the successful Anti Water Charges Campaign of the 1990s.

“Already some 80 to 100 public meetings are being planned for every community in Dublin and city and county. This Saturday’s National Organising Forum is intended to equip people who want to fight the charge from across the country with the know-how for building campaigns of non-payment in their community. Anybody who wants to fight this charge is welcome to attend.

“Before this unjust Household Charge is implemented in January there will be in place a visible campaign capable of getting information into the communities and responding to every threat that comes from the government to bully people into payment.

It is well understood by many working people and the unemployed that this charge is simply another austerity measure at the behest of the EU/IMF which won’t boost the services provided by our local authorities. People are at breaking point and the Household Charge alongside other cuts and impositions will provoke an inevitable fightback.”

Economy

Responding to the interview today given by Minister Leo Varadkar where he described the government’s minority stake in Aer Lingus as ‘non strategic’ and indicated that it would be sold off Socialist Party TD and former Aer Lingus employee Clare Daly said:

“Given the catastrophic decline in private sector investment since the crisis began deputy Varadkar turns reality on its head when he describes that state’s strategic interest in Aer Lingus as a thing of the past.

Final sell off must be opposed

“In truth all government assets should be viewed as strategic from the point of view of preserving and improving infrastructure and services as well as providing employment. If anything the national debate should centre on how through public works and expanding state enterprises we can create the tens of thousands of jobs that the private sector refuses to create because of its investment strike.

“Privatisation has been a disaster for Aer Lingus and Eircom employees and for Irish society. I support my colleagues in Aer Lingus resisting any attempt to complete the sell off of a vital asset for our island economy. Likewise I offer my solidarity to ESB workers who are currently the target of a vile campaign from certain quarters of the media who are cynically trying to engender a mood in society for an ateality on its head when he describes that state’s strategic interest in Aer Lingus as a thing of the past.

Environment

On last night’s Vincent Browne show (Tuesday 23rd August) Clare Daly TD went head to head with Minister for the Environment and Local Government Phil Hogan over the recently announced Household Tax and the future promised water and property tax.

The show can be viewed here.

The Anti Water and Household Tax Campaign is up and running and will be hosting a National Organising meeting on Saturday 10th September at 1:30pm in the Teachers Club on Parnell Square in Dublin. This meeting is open to all who are committed to fighting the Household and Water Taxes through a campaign of non payment.

The event will equip people with the arguments against these unjust taxes and the information and resources for organising a campaign of non payment in their community.

Household and Water Taxes will be resisted

Economy

Responding to the emerging debate on debt forgiveness for people in difficulty with their mortgages Clare Daly TD (Socialist Party/United Left Alliance Dublin North) said:

“It is rank hypocrisy for Minister Hayes to deem debt forgiveness for householders an ‘unrealistic option’ when one considers how his and the previous government have done somersaults to relieve banks of their bad loans and make them the responsibility of ordinary people including those struggling to maintain their home.

Overpriced houses from bubble era

“The opposition of Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath parroting the same arguments as the government is equally galling.

“Whatever the precise cost of providing such forgiveness we can be sure that it is a figure that would be dwarfed by the scale of the bank bailouts. The Socialist Party consistently raised during the housing bubble its opposition to people being enslaved to 30 and 40 year mortgages for overpriced houses in order to obtain a home. We now say that a retrospective revaluation of all houses sold during the bubble during the last decade must take place and future payments worked out based on the true value of the home and people’s ability to pay.

“The United Left Alliance has already taken initial steps in launching a campaign of active opposition to repossessions and will seek to present a bill this autumn in the Dáil outlawing repossessions.

“The fact a debate is taking place at all and that even some pro-capitalist economists support a debt forgiveness scheme is a reflection of the reality that tens of thousands of people simply cannot meet the inflated terms of their mortgage. It is also a reflection that their is a growing climate of opposition to people being repossessed of their homes. The Socialist Party and the United Left Alliance will play its part in giving that opposition an active form in the months ahead.