Economy

All Labour Party Deputies started their remarks by telling us about the deplorable state of the economy, but its condition was common knowledge when they contested the election and promised to be the guardians of people’s welfare against that backdrop. Over the past few days, all of us have received letters from Barnardos, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Social Justice Ireland and others that are hardly the most radical campaigners or mad lunatics begging and pleading with this Government to call a halt to the butchery it has engaged in and to reverse some of the decisions it plans to ram through. If this process is to be meaningful, the Government should take heed. The expression “protecting the vulnerable” has been the most misused phrase in vogue over the past number of days. In reality, it is code for kicking the living daylights out of those at the bottom of society. It is nothing more than nauseating hypocrisy from the Labour Party, in particular, when people had such hope that it would offer something different. In fairness to Vincent Browne, as he spent the week saying, one would be hard-pressed to find a single vulnerable person or group who this Government has not targeted. The Government has gone after every one of them and if that is what protecting the vulnerable means, it is a severe misuse of language.

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Foreign Affairs, International

Like my colleague, I am speaking as an internationalist in support of the ULA positive addendum to the Technical Group’s motion. The idea that one cannot be pro-Europe if one is against the European Union is nonsense. The current position makes it clear to people everywhere that there is dictatorship by the markets is not an exaggerated claim by left wingers in respect of a global capitalist plot, rather it is the reality in Europe which has been laid bare before the eyes of ordinary Europeans everywhere. What is under way is a monumental assault on democratic rights by European bondholders, bankers and speculators, facilitated by the leadership of the European Union.

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Budget 2012

Dec
2011
06

Economy


Austerity is not working and everybody knows it. Everybody outside the Chamber certainly feels it, yet it is the only medicine that has been dished out by the Government today. What a pitiful disappointment for the tens of thousands of people who voted for the Government parties in the hope that they would represent something different. Far from being a crusading Minister coming to deliver something radical, the Minister, Deputy Howlin, is merely responsible for more of the same. He said his guiding principles for this delivery were fairness, jobs and reform, which is unfortunate, as these are precisely the three areas where the Government has fallen down. The only positive is that we will not have to listen to the Government parties bleating that this is all the fault of Fianna Fáil. This budget was its doing and it has chosen to continue the policies of its predecessors and to make ordinary people pay.

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Worker's Rights

An emergency boost to resources at the EAT is an absolute requirement
A question put by Socialist Party/United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly to the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation regarding case-load, resources and waiting times at the Employment Appeal Tribunal revealed an explosion in numbers of people seeking redress for unfair dismissal since the crisis began and a corresponding lengthening of waiting times.
Clare Daly said:

“I was provoked into asking these questions because of the amount of contact my and my party colleague Joe Higgins’ office was receiving from people who had good cases to make for unfair dismissal to the Rights Commissioner and/or Employment Appeals Tribunal.

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