October 2013        

How austerity is working

The recent credit union report provided a very good critique of how austerity is working very well in Ireland, with continuing price increases for the poor and the working poor. The basic headline which the gutter press highlighted was the fact that people are learning how to live on €100 per month or less. There are more than 1,118,000 people living on less than €50 per month after their essential bills are paid.
     It is sickening to think that our politicians are living on an average annual income of €95,000 plus all the perks of the job. And what the report does not tell us is the huge sums of money that companies like the ESB are making each year. In 2011 the ESB made €78.8 million, and for 2012 its profit increased fourfold to a whopping €327.6 million, with a dividend of €78.4 million going back to the state; and yet it has the audacity to look for yearly price increases.
     An Bord Gáis, another vulture that preys on the back of people struggling to get by, has had increases of almost 30 per cent over the last three years. The cost of getting rid of our waste goes up each year. The cost of basic food items is a disgrace.
     It would be something if the Government could give more time to dealing with the core issues of mounting costs that are affecting people and stop wasting so much time and money in trying to convince people that the state is saving €20 million on a toothless body such as the Seanad.
     It is perplexing to know that 73 per cent of people are sacrificing spending on footwear, clothes and something that wasn’t mentioned: the scandal of dental care. Most people cannot afford the horrific charges of dentists. To get any sort of oral care, especially for children over the age of thirteen, is prohibitive. The result in years to come will be a disaster for us all.
     All this is being carried on under the noses of the Labour Party, with Pat Rabbitte and his former Workers’ Party comrade Éamon Gilmore. They are leading the way forward in ensuring that “Austerity” can, and does, work.
     Where now stands Pearse Doherty TD, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on finance? Before he was elected he was very keen to tell us about what he stood for, but, as usual, once they get their cosy slippers from the ushers in Leinster House they become part of the cronyism.
     One can sense the true feelings of the gombeenmen and women in the Dáil when you take into consideration the latest exploits of the property developer Michael O’Flynn, who owed the banks the sum of €1½ billion; and now speculation has it that Deutsche Bank is about to buy the loans at a huge discount of €900 million.
     The resulting loss will be covered by the people of Ireland; and not a word from the elite. It is all nice and cosy, and it clearly shows where the elite’s priorities lie; and again the only answer—and it is a message that the CPI has been espousing for many years—is to build a people’s resistance and to fight back.

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