One law for the rich…

While the bailed-out banks continue to pay out millions in bonuses to the fat cat executives, it is a very different story for working class people. A record 1,000 people are expected to declare bankruptcy this year in Northern Ireland. The Land & Property Services (LPS) which collects rates on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly Executive has dragged a staggering 46,611 people before the courts in the last financial year because they could not afford to pay rates.

Compare this treatment to how business is dealt with by the LPS. Nearly £6million in unpaid rates by private companies was written off last year without any trip to the courts! The Assembly Executive, while pursuing working class people through the courts via the LPS, continues to give away public money to private companies.  

Last May, Arlene Foster (Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment) launched a government aid scheme worth £15 million. This scheme allows companies to pocket up to £450,000 a time to help them ‘restructure their business’. On top of this big business can claim millions of public money in grants. Arlene Foster claims that supporting businesses is crucial to save jobs. Tell that to the ex-workers of Visteon, who had to occupy their factory for weeks in order to get an improved redundancy package, and are still fighting for their pensions. Visteon received £138,172 in grants from Invest NI. Or tell it to the Nortel workers, who have been treated similarly. Nortel has received £7.4million from Invest NI.

 

It is clear the Northern Ireland Assembly Executive believes in one law for the rich and another law for workers.

 

20 August 2009
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