The extra billions being pumped into the banks means that in the budget this December, instead of having to bear the brunt of €3 billion cuts, working class people may face cuts in public spending and/or tax increases of €4 or even €5 billion!
Whatever way this scenario plays out, there is one thing that is certain – the establishment parties are determined to make you pay for this crisis.
The obscenity of the situation was graphically illustrated on 31 March when the trade union leaders and the government announced the public sector agreement that copper-fastens pay cuts of up to 20% and ushers in “counter-revolutionary” changes in our public services. This deal is premised on the presumption that the government cannot afford the public sector wage bill – they say pay must be cut and up to 20,000 jobs must be sacrificed. Yet this was the same day they agreed to give the banks another €24 billion!
Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Farce is precisely what this government has become as it implements round two of the bank bailouts. And the tragedy will be the misery and deprivation inflicted on the lives of millions of families the length and breadth of this country.
People are furious and outraged at the policies of the government and they want them out. Unfortunately, the alternative government, of Fine Gael and Labour, would implement basically the same policies as they too are parties of big business wedded to the capitalist market.
So a political alternative needs to be built in Ireland. A new party that puts the interests of working class people first, that is capable of utilising the anger and discontent that exists and directing it into a mass movement for radical and fundamental change.
The rich indulged in a credit binge and we are suffering the hangover. But this crisis is about much more than just the actions of a few rogue bankers and developers. This recession is set to continue and deepen, unemployment is rising and mass emigration is back. The social consequences of this type of crisis were also experienced by working class people in the 1930s, 1950s, and the 1980s.
We need to break this cycle of crisis, poverty and suffering but that can only be done by getting rid of the capitalist system and replacing it with a socialist society in which all wealth is used democratically to provide for the needs of the majority.
If you are looking for a political alternative to this rotten political and economic system, then contact the Socialist Party today and find out how you can join in the struggle for change.
“The growing crisis in our public services and the continued increase in the numbers of unemployed can be directly attributed to these policies and the system that underpins it. I say again, let those whose greed fuelled the property bubble and subsequent crash take their losses.”
JOE HIGGINS, SOCIALIST PARTY MEP