April 28th: Trade union Unite today (Tuesday April 28th) warned that what it termed a ‘toxic low-tax, low-investment strategy’ is designed to pave the way for the next round of austerity. Commenting on the Government’s Spring Economic Statement, the Ireland Secretary of Unite, Jimmy Kelly, said:
“The Government appears set for a re-run of the Fianna Fail policy prior to the crash, reducing tax revenue to unsustainable levels at the expense of investment both in the productive economy and in the vital services on which we all rely.
“During the first phase of austerity, Ministers announced spending cuts in Euros and cents. The next round of austerity will be below the radar but no less destructive. Spending increases will be kept below inflation, thus cutting their value. Like Fianna Fail, the Government is set to cut taxes in advance of the next election – but the fact is that tax cuts will not provide affordable childcare, remove the 1.5 million suffering deprivation, reduce public transport costs, guarantee adequate pension income or provide the necessary services to the disabled”, Jimmy Kelly said.
Unite researcher Michael Taft added:
“The Government seems indifferent to the scale of the social repair job that is necessary in public services and social protection following years of recession, stagnation and austerity. Public spending will be kept below the rate of inflation so, if anything, we could experience further deterioration in service quality. What is deeply worrying is the low levels of public investment going forward. This will reduce the economy’s capacity to grow in the future. A strategy of low-taxes and low investment is a toxic combination”, Michael Taft concluded.