Date Released: 02 July 2013
Speaking on the economy at the ICTU conference in Belfast today (Tuesday 2nd July) SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor, called on the Irish Government to immediately “ramp up the domestic economy” or face exacerbating the economic and social crisis in which the country is locked.
He said that only by “immediately abandoning one-sided austerity” was there even a slim prospect of Ireland meeting a commitment to its international lenders to reduce the Government deficit to under 3% by 2015 and exit the “troika strait jacket”.
Jack O’Connor said: “It can be done by deploying the breathing space afforded by the Promissory note deal to offset further cuts, accompanied by a major campaign across all departments and public institutions to lever in the €6 billion which has been re-designated from the National Pension Reserve Fund for strategic investment.”
He added: “After that, the Fine Gael party must lift its veto on a tax contribution from wealth and those on high incomes to generate a further €1 billion over two budgets. Such an approach offers the possibility of achieving the 3% target, if we get a deal on the retrospective re-capitalisation of the banks in accordance with the agreement of the European Council on the 29th June last year.
“This way we can buy the time it will take for the trade union movement and civil society to mount the challenge that will bring about a more enlightened policy at European Union level – and this is the only way that it can be done.”