Economy, International

United Left Alliance TDs challenge Troika on doomed austerity policy

Payment of unsecured bondholders and threatened sell off of state assets raised

Today United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly and Richard Boyd Barrett’s had an hour long meeting with the EU/ECB/IMF troika along with a delegation of Independent TDs. At the meeting Deputies Boyd Barrett and Daly challenged the troika on their doomed austerity policy and focused particularly on the drive for the privatisation of state assets and other austerity policies that have facilitated the ongoing payments to senior unsecured bondholders.
After the meeting Clare Daly said:

“I pointed out that the austerity policy of the passed four years and the strike of private investment has destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Rather than selling off state assets which is the typical neo-liberal response we should be investing to expand state enterprises and public works as the only guarantee to create jobs in the massive numbers required.
“I don’t accept the parameters of the supposed debate between the government and the troika on the scale of the proposed sell offs. €2 billion is €2 billion too much never mind the €5 billion we are told is being sought by the troika. The fact is that the sell off of any or all of the assets under discussion would not even reach these figures.
“The experience of eircom and Aer Lingus as well as that of the sell offs in the neo colonial world demonstrates to us the consequences of pursuing this policy from the point of view of jobs, conditions of work and vital infrastructure.
“Therefore I would urge workers in the companies whose privatisation is under consideration to ready themselves for a fight.”

Richard Boyd Barrett said:

“Both the IMF and ECB among others have predicted in their forecasts that growth will return to the Irish economy in 2013 and had previously predicted a return to growth for 2012. IMF policies are failing and failing disastrously as can be seen from the down-grading of European and Irish growth projections, rating down-grades of major European economies and the EFSF, and the possibility of a second bail-out.

“‘We challenged the Troika on their disastrous failure to resolve the deepening economic crisis in both Ireland and the wider European
economy.

“I questioned the Troika on precisely what role it had it terms of requiring the full repayment of senior bondholders and the Anglo-Irish promissory note and the more general policy of bank-bail-outs and austerity.

“We need to break from the failing policies of IMF-EU austerity. The ULA proposals taxes on wealth and assets, rather than the regressive or socially unjust taxes and cuts being imposed on low and middle income families. There is still lots ofmoney in Ireland, we need to use that wealth to rebuild our society not to pay greedy bondholders and speculators”.

Economy

United Left Alliance TDs condemn the privatisation of Dublin City Council’s waste collection service

The ULA TDs condemn the privatisation of Dublin City Council’s waste collection service. Joan Collins TD (People Before Profit/United Left Alliance Dublin South Central) said:

“After a 148 years of unbroken service to the city, it is now the last Local Authority to privatise the waste collection. The ULA acknowledges the powerful Anti Bin Tax Campaign who fought so well against the implementation of a charge for waste as we were well aware that once a service is commodified and there is a majority compliance, as sure as night follows day, private companies are waiting in the wings to principally make a profit out of the service.

It is no accident that Dublin City Council was the last local authority to privatise because it had such a huge non compliance up to 2-3 years ago. €65 million euro is arrears remains.”

Clare Daly TD (Socialist Party/United Left Alliance Dublin North) said:

“We also condemn the disgraceful and chaotic handing over of Dublin City Councils waste collection to Greyhound. The €100 charge to be paid within 30 days is contrary to the polluter pays principle.

“Dublin City Council households will also be receiving an average bill of €70 to €80 for the last quarter of 2011 in the next 10 days, if not paid households waste will not be collected.

“There needs now to be strict regulation to ensure that private companies conform to the highest of standards, both in the collection of waste and in the conditions and pay of their workers and there needs to be legislation introduced to put in place a bond to secure a waste service for households who pay in advance for collection, in case of private companies going into liquidation.

“However even if this was achieved we still hold to the view that this service should be run publicly.”

Economy, Environment

Responding to the admission by Minister Hogan that domestic water meter installation would proceed albeit wouldn’t be completed by 2014 Socialist Party/ULA Environment spokesperson Clare Daly TD said:

“The Oireachtas Environment committee heard comprehensive arguments as to why water metering will contribute very little to water conservation compared to other necessary measures such as fixing leaks in the mains.

“Figures are also available and were presented to the committee demonstrating that average domestic water consumption in Ireland does not differ from Britain where meters have been installed for some years as part of the privatisation process began under Thatcher.

“It is clear therefore that the real agenda behind domestic metering, despite Minister Hogan’s denial is one of turning water into a commodity that ultimately, as is the case in England and Wales make obscene profits.

“That the government is willing to front hundreds of millions of euro on to private manufacturers of meters and private contractors and then load that cost onto householders is an abuse plain and simple.

“Opposition to the metering process will be a key aspect of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes.”

Economy

Single state banking system allied to other radical job creation policies the only way to prevent jobs massacre in the financial sector

A fighting lead from the IBOA is an absolute must – no job losses should be accepted – a fundamental challenge to the logic of mass redundancies in the financial sector is needed

Responding to the announcement of massive job cuts in Ulster Bank today Clare Daly TD said:

“The speculation that the corporate division of the bank is where the axe will fall heaviest is yet more proof that the austerity policies combined with the inability of small businesses to access credit are destroying jobs.

“I support the demand of the IBOA that the companies books be opened so that the workers side can scrutinise the claims of the company. No job losses or attacks on conditions should be conceded by the IBOA leadership. A fighting response is what is needed.

“Ordinary bank workers in Ulster Bank, like workers in Aviva and other financial and insurance institutions are innocent victims of the crisis for which their bosses, governments past and present and speculators are responsible.

“It is clear that a privately owned financial institutions and the essentially privately run in the case of the bailed out banks are not fit for purpose when it comes to providing credit for small businesses and protecting jobs.

“The Socialist Party calls for the real nationalisation of the financial sector and the creation of a single state bank whose purpose is the safeguard deposits and provide credit to productive enterprises. Such a bank should be shorn of any speculator debt and be run democratically under workers control and management.

“Such a policy only makes sense if all the other austerity measures are ended and a programme of emergency public works funded through a wealth and assets tax puts thousands back to work and rebuilds economic life.

“Anything short of these policies means an ongoing acceptance of the jobs massacre. The time has come for the trade union movement to challenge the logic of mass redundancies in the financial and other sectors and back a radical alternative to protect and create jobs.”