May 29th: Writing today on the publication of a new ICTU policy Document No Going Back: A New Deal towards a safe and secure future for all, Unite the Union RoI Senior Officer Brendan Ogle was critical of the EU Commission’s recovery fund for Ireland.
Ogle said, “In the very weeks when Fine Gael and Fianna Fail first seemed to rule out tax increases going forward (including the ongoing refusal to accept the Apple Tax), and then state-led borrowing, an attack began on the COVID-19 payment, with people who have been forced into isolation being targeted for ‘being better off’ on €350 a week. Now we learn that, of €750bn targeted by the European Commission in a recovery fund of grants and loans for 27 member states, Ireland is earmarked for just €1.9 billion, a tiny 0.25% of the total. This for a country that Eurostat found had been forced to pay 42% of the total cost of the European banking debt following the financial crash.”
He added, “The call for a universal public healthcare system free at the point of use must now be our most basic demand following a public health emergency where we found out who the real heroes in our labour market were. They were the ones out there saving lives and putting their own at risk!”
Furthermore, “Our individual wellbeing is linked into our collective wellbeing. The public needs to be safe, but who better to give a customer that assurance in a restaurant, bar or shop than the staff who work there? Remember this, when our economy re-opens if a worker serving you is sick from COVID you may well get sick too. Do you really want those workers not to be safe and protected?”