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O’Connor calls for an immediate end to austerity

Date Released: 02 August 2013

SIPTU President Jack O’Connor has called for an immediate end to the economic policy of austerity which he described as “a violence perpetrated against working people and those who depend most on public services.”

Addressing the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, County Donegal, this morning (Friday, 2nd August) O’Connor outlined a clear alternative economic approach for Ireland that would include the creation of a Strategic Investment Bank, raising the effective tax rate on the top 10% of households by 2.3% and the mutualisation of debt at EU level.

On the latter point he said: “Unless there is a change of course entailing some sort of write off or mutualisation of debt, accompanied by a major fiscal initiative to facilitate the generation of jobs and growth, thus enabling countries to manage and reduce their debt to GDP ratio, it will end in the demise of the euro or the collapse of the democratic system itself, in some countries at least, or both.”

Commenting on those who continue to call for greater cuts to public spending and ‘market solutions’ to the economic crisis he said; “They have all come out over the past few weeks, from the Troika to the International Monetary Fund to the Head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to the Fiscal Council through to the Central Bank - all the comfortable voices of the top decile, as if on cue, to threaten the end of civilisation if the Government fails to inflict more unnecessary misery on those who have little or nothing.”

He described as “blackmail on a monumental scale” threats from some European bureaucrats that unless Ireland continued with austerity it faced “loss of a precautionary credit line to assist in our efforts to exit the ‘bailout’.”

To read the full text of Jack O’Connor’s address click here


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