Jimmy Kelly: Neither society nor economy can withstand further cuts

Actor Ger O'Leary as Jim Larkin with (l to r) Unite's Jimmy Kelly, Mandate member Sandra Stapleton and Derek Keenan of the Congress Youth Committee

Actor Ger O’Leary as Jim Larkin with (l to r) Unite’s Jimmy Kelly, Mandate member Sandra Stapleton and Derek Keenan of the Congress Youth Committee

October 1st:  Speaking this morning at a press conference to announce details of the forthcoming Dublin Council of Trade Union Pre-Budget demonstration on Saturday, October 12th, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

 “We need to come out on October 12th to send a loud and clear message to the Government ahead of Budget Day:  our society cannot withstand any further cuts – and neither can our economy.  The evidence is in:  every cut puts recovery that much further out of reach.  And every cut is felt by households, businesses and communities.  The time has come to change direction, stop cutting and start investing”.

Also speaking today, ICTU President and Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said:

“Successive Irish Government’s have failed communities the length and breadth of Ireland. The failed policies of austerity have led to excessively high levels of unemployment, increased poverty levels, driven unsustainable income inequalities, increased levels of precarious working and crucially suppressed domestic demand for goods and services by attacking those on low and middle incomes.  With Budget 2014 coming, many low-paid workers are genuinely anxious about what’s in store for them. Our message to government is quite simple – we’re demanding an end to austerity and an end to cuts. Continuing the failed austerity experiment will be resisted by trade unions and community groups across Ireland and we will not simply lie down while the wealthy avoid paying their fair share”.

Speaking at the press conference, SIPTU President Jack O’Connor said:

“We are encouraging our members to join the protest on 12th October in order to show our opposition to the failed policies of one-sided austerity which, if allowed to continue, will mean more hardship for working people, deepening recession instead of sustainable economic growth and further attacks on those who depend on, and provide, public services”.

CPSU General Secretary Eoin Ronayne said:

“Budget 2014 is an opportunity for Government to put ordinary citizens first, rather than those at the very top. Any revenue-generating measures must target those on earnings over €100,000 through a real wealth tax and a new higher tax rate”.  Mr Ronayne also called for a lifting of the moratorium on recruitment at lower levels in the Civil Service, noting that the current shortfalls were being covered up by temporary contracts and outsourcing to less revenue-generating jobs in the private sector.

Dublin Council of Trade Unions President Mick O’Reilly said:

“It is important for trade unionists to take to the streets in advance of Budget Day and send a loud message:  austerity has failed and will continue to fail.  It has failed both our economy and our society.  We need to demonstrate solidarity with those who have been hardest hit by successive austerity budgets, and we need to mobilise support for a new direction.  The Dublin Council of Trade Unions argues that there are four principles – ending austerity, increasing investment, introducing growth-friendly tax measures and raising income and wage floors – which can help reinvigorate the economy, increase employment and raise living standards”.

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