The Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign in Donegal has welcomed a government announcement to provide grant relief for septic tank repairs.  This is an indication of the success of the boycott campaign.  Up until now the Government had insisted that the home owners would bear the full cost of repairs.  This compromise is a result of the campaign’s successful boycott of the registration process.
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Communications Energy and Natural Resources

It is almost ironic that as we put up our Christmas trees, Coillte the State forestry board tasked with managing 1.2 million acres of public forests as well as increasing our low average tree cover, is selling off another lot of public forestry property, 1000 acres in Donegal.
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Economy, Education

Ruairi Quinn signed the USI pre election pledge not to re introduce Fees or cut Grants.

We hear a lot these days about how the key to solving Ireland’s economic woes lies in building a “knowledge economy.”  Fianna Fáil’s education minister, Batt O’Keefe, was a big fan of throwing this phrase around.  And, as in so many other ways, Fine Gael and Labour have continued Fianna Fáil’s empty rhetoric.

How odd, then, that both Fianna Fáil and FG/Labour have continually advocated policies that have done serious damage to the Irish educational system.  Class sizes in primary schools have risen continuously over the last five years and 85% of primary students in the Republic are now in classes of 20 or more, well above the EU average
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Adam Smith, that high-priest of free-market economics, believed that there were four principles for running a capitalist taxation system.  Taxes should be equitable, non-arbitrary, convenient

CAHWT protest in Swords

to pay, and with some kind of return for citizens.  These four ideas are said to underpin how capitalists think a taxation system should be run.  It is ironic, then, that the new property tax proposed in this week’s budget fails to meet even one of these four principles.  This is a government pursuing a form of nakedly neo-liberal capitalism that would make even Adam Smith blush.
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