This month: Good riddance to SIB fat cat Construction bosses make millions Coleraine sports centre scrapped Bankruptcies rise by 20%

Good riddance to SIB fat cat
It was recently announced that David Gavaghan, Chief Executive of the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) is standing down to take a lucrative job with a London property company.

Gavaghan and his colleagues at the SIB, who play a key role in advising Departments at Stormont, have been among the most vocal cheerleaders of public sector pay cuts and privatisation over recent years. Gavaghan, one of Northern Ireland’s highest paid civil servants walked away with pay and bonuses worth £210,000 for the year ending March 2009. Pity Sammy Wilson wouldn’t treat low paid civil servants the same.

Construction bosses make millions
McAleer and Rushmore, the Cookstown-based construction firm, recorded profits of £3.2 million for the year ending March 2009. This contrasts with the massacre of construction industry jobs in the Cookstown area since the credit crunch hit.

While the official figure of unemployed construction workers across the North stands at 13,000, the real figure is many times this after self-employed, black market and immigrant workers, who have now returned home, are fully accounted for.

Instead of bailing out banks and prioritising company profits, an economy run on a socialist basis would provide construction industry jobs through a massive program of building schools, hospitals, social housing and other services ordinary working people need.

Coleraine Sports Centre Scrapped

The University of Ulster’s proposed £7.6million sports centre at Coleraine will now likely fall victim to government cutbacks.

Although work on the centre was scheduled to begin shortly, the university has now been forced by the Stormont government to find £4.5 million in “efficiency savings” with the sports centre the likely casualty. This is yet another example of how ordinary people are being forced to pay for the crisis through attacks on services.

Bankruptcies rise by 20%
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment at Stormont announced a 20% increase in personal insolvencies in 2009. The figures included 1,237 people declared bankrupt because they could not repay debts. While the banks have been bailed out to the tune of trillions for their bad loans, there is no similar treatment for ordinary working people who find themselves in financial difficulty.

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In 1910 at the second International Conference of Working Women, Clara Zetkin, a German revolutionary socialist, proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands.

Cameron turns back clock on women’s rights

David Cameron's comments on abortion last week underlined the danger of increased attacks on women's rights if the Tories win the general election.

The Tory leader told The Catholic Herald: "The way medical science and technology have developed in the past few decades does mean that an upper limit [on abortion] of 20 or 22 weeks would be sensible". The current law allows for an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Apparently, Cameron thinks he knows better than the medical and scientific experts who investigated the issue as recently as 2007 and concluded that there is no evidence that foetal viability has improved since the last time the upper limit was changed.