Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fianna Fail in Wonderland

It seems that reality has been cancelled in Fianna Fail ruled Ireland, and that our beloved "government" has travelled down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland, where the rules of real life have been turned upside down and sheer confusion reigns.
Ask anyone who hasn't emigrated from Papa Cowens Republic of Misery yet, and they'll tell you that this "government" will be out in the next three months. Yet they are delivering a Four year economic plan to the nation!
Our ruling regime has now allowed the EU/IMF into our country, so that we may accept a future destroying loan from then. A loan that this nation will never be able to pay back. Are we getting this loan to help the people of the state? NO. We are getting it to save our corrupt ridden banks, who coincidentally owe top EU banks alot of money. The majority of this country's bailout will be used not to bailout Ireland or the Irish people, but to bail out toxic banks.
Sinn Féin have called upon the Irish government to burn the bondholders, who are nothing put very rich gamblers refusing to accept their losses. Papa Cowens regime refused to do this, choosing instead to bankrupt every man, woman and child in this country, as well as countless unborn children.
Sinn Féin asked that 7 billion be taken from the National Pension Reserve Fund to put introduce an employment stimulus package, which could get Ireland back to work, and empower the half a million unemployed. Our "government" refused to do this, saying that the NPRF was not to be touched. Now it has emerged that this money will be used, but not to help the Irish people. Instead it will be pumped into our toxic banks.
While the ordinary people of this nation fear the coming cuts to welfare, public services and the minimum wage, our beloved "government" talk about the importance of not altering our 12.5% corporation tax. The truth is that most multinationals in this state dont pay 12.5%, as they manage to make use of tax loopholes. Yet Papa Cowen cant talk about anything else.
Papa Cowen is sitting beside the white rabbit and the mad hatter lenihan, drinking tea from a boot and musing on how to kick start our dead economy. "Why not increase VAT?" "Of course", replies the mad hatter lenihan, as he reflects on how that decision will drive shoppers north again, and kill of southern business. "It'll work!" he roars.
"We'll cut the dole and reduce the minimum wage", Papa Cowen shouts. The mad hatter Lenihan nods in agreement as he thinks of how these cuts will rid a majority of the population of disposable income, and spread misery and destruction across the land.
"We'll introduce property and water taxes", Cowen grins. "Indeed", screams the mad hatter Lenihan as he thinks of how already struggling families will now face these new stealth taxes.
"We'll increase student charges", Cowen whispers into his teaboot. "Fantastic idea", the mad hatter Lenihan says, as he jigs around the table, thinking of the decision that will face many families.
Should we pay the mortgage or send the kids to school
The projected growth of 2.75% on the back of depressing the economy is delusional. This "government" is delusional. While they drink tea in Wonderland, assured in their insanity of their own judgement, you and your family will be citizens of the Republic of Misery, a state controlled by foreign bankers and held up as the Afghanistan of International economics. You can still stop this. You can still change things. Not by swapping Fianna Fail for Fine Gael and Labour. That will only be more of the same. Real change requires brave politics, and courageous decisions. Vote for Sinn Féin to deliver those decisions.

Liam Mellowes - The forgotten Patriot

Liam Mellowes was an Irish Republican Socialist and Sinn Féin politician. He was a leader of the 1916 Rising, organising the uprising in Galway. He fought bravely in the Tan war, and was elected to the first Dail. He played a pivotal role in the creation of the 1919 Democratic Programme. In fact, It was Mellowes who provided the cutting edge civil rights proposals introduced in the 1919 programme. He refused to accept the terms of the treaty with Britain, and fought against the Freestate in the civil war. Mellowes was executed by the Freestate in 1922.

Liam Mellowes was an Irish patriot, who should be remembered in the same light as Michael Collins, Padraig Pearse and James Connolly.
But that is not the case.
Liam Mellowes is the forgotten figure of Irish history. He has been airbrushed from our history books by state censors, who fear his republican socialist legacy and prefer to have his noble egalitarian ideas confined to a forgotten age.

It is obvious why Fine Gael would favour this. They are the descendants of the ones who murdered Mellowes. But why have Fianna Fail and Labour forsaken this patriot?
Maybe because they do not appreciate the values for which Liam Mellowes lived and died. Perhaps they prefer that the idea of a public representative actually caring for the people of his nation be forgotten.
Only one party proudly remembers the importance of Liam Mellowes, and adhere to his teachings. That party is Sinn Féin.

Every December, members and supporters of Wexford and Wicklow Sinn Féin gather in the small north wexford village of Castletown, where Mellowes is buried. They gather to remember and honour and great Irish patriot. They gather to reaffirm their commitment to follow in Mellowes path and to finally bring about the Ireland of equals so long desired by the people of this island.

Republican TV, episode 2

Epiode 2 of Repubican TV. An insiders view to life in Papa Cowens Republic of Misery.

For your viewing pleasure, see hard working members of the Gardai charge innocent student protestors. See Enda Kenny strut his stuff to Boney M. See Pat Kenny called a "piece of shit" on national telly.

All this and more on the alternative to RTE censorship.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Republican TV, episode 1

Republican TV offers uncensored Irish Republican news. In this episode, Gerry Adams briefly explains the fundamental difference between Sinn Féin’s plan to get Ireland out of this economic crisis, and the consensus for cuts currently be adhered to by the Fianna Fail/Green coalition government and the weak opposition of Fine Gael and Labour.

We also witness an interview with Brian Cowen from last year where he claimed that the Irish taxpayer would never be held responsible for NAMA or any bank bailout. Mmm, how times have changed? Or was he always a liar?

Enjoy Republican TV sensibly. Enda Kenny believes watching too much of it will give you the wrong ideas. God forbid people might actually question the FF/FG line on things. Its got to be one or the other, Ying or Yang. Or does it have to be? Maybe Enda is senile, and maybe your small toe has more brain power than the department of Finance.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

People Before Politics

This blog has found the reaction from certain sections of the Irish Left to Gerry Adams brave decision to contest the next Leinster House election quite startling. Some of these commentators have criticised Adams for "leaving" the people of West Belfast, one of the most deprived communities in Ireland. Some of these critics have even claimed that they should fill the vacuum left by the "retreating" Adams.

Where were these heroic campaigners in 1969 when the people of Bombay street were being burned out of their homes by Loyalist mobs and RUC collaborators?
Where were they when civilians were being used as target practice by the paratroopers in Derry?
Where were they when the people of West Belfast were interned without trial, dragged from their homes in the middle of the night having committed no crime other then being born?
First of all, Adams is a member of the West Belfast community. He lives there, has raised his family there, goes to church there. He is a pillar of the community that these would be opportunists claim that he is abandoning.

Second, the people of West Belfast owe many of the rights they won in recent years, including civil rights, peace and the process of rejuvenation currently under way, to men and women like Gerry Adams. Adams stood by his people during a time of unprecedented trouble. He never abandoned them, even when his life and the lives of his family were in constant danger. Adams has now left the safest SF seat in Ireland to take on the whole Irish establishment, including these wanna be Trotsky's, in order to help the people of the 26 counties, who have been crying out for a real leader. Adams has put the people of Ireland before his own benefits once again.
As always, Sinn Féin has chosen people before politics.

For any group of people to claim that Adams abandoned his community shows their utter ignorance of life in West Belfast, and their villainous readiness to say anything that they vainly believe will cost Sinn Féin political points, and might benefit their own chances of winning some power.
Sinn Féin has no nefarious reasons for contesting elections here, and neither does Gerry Adams. We stand for the people. Remember we have had a bunch of dogmatic socialists proclaiming they were better than Sinn Féin and promising to work for the people above all before. Today they run the Irish Labour party, a group that Adams critics call right wing.
There is one left wing party where true republican socialists still work for the betterment of the common man left in Ireland today.
Its called Sinn Féin.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who is Ireland's enemy?

In 1914, Brian Higgins wrote an anti recruiting poem to combat British forces attempts to recruit young Irish men to fight in the first world war. This blog has taken the liberty to change the words around a bit so that we may express our discontent for who we believe is Ireland's enemy today.

Who is Ireland's enemy?
Not Barrosa or the IMF,
Not greedy hordes of bondholders;
Not the multi rich who pretend to be deaf,
and blind, and dumb, and stupid,
when they see our people lose all,
Not the impotent incompetent yesmen
who meekly support the cuts in the Dail.

Who let the banks run riot?
Who let the corrupt thrive,
when the people of Ireland worked,
for a good life they did strive.
Who told the people you voted wrong?
You'll have to vote again,
This time tick the Yes box,
And there will be unlimited jobs then.

Who laid claim to our boom?
Though they hadn't a bloody clue,
of what had caused our little miracle,
Greed and hunger for more was all they knew.
Who squandered our wealth,
with electronic voting and the Bertie Bowl?
Who now sits in denial,
making plans to cut the dole?

Who said not to worry,
When things began to crash?
Who told the people to relax,
while they protected their own cash?
Who told foreign gamblers,
we'll cover all subordinates,
While telling the youth of our nation,
They'd be better off in the states?

Who told our soulless media,
To sell the cuts as the only show,
And ignore all progressive proposals?
Who filled our land with woe,
By night and day - a thousand times,
Over thirteen blasted years,
Til every blade of Irish grass,
was wet with painful tears?

Not the EU, Not the Tories,
Not Fine Gael, Labour or Green,
That robbed and plundered this land of ours,
That left us the international has been.
No, not them but the mother parasite,
Its name we all must shout,
It was FIANNA FAIL that scourged our motherland,
It was FIANNA FAIL that turned all our lights out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm a Minister.... Get me out of here!

Special thanks to crossboy for this email he sent us. It would be funnier if the joke wasnt on us, the viewers/voters.

As reality tv show "I'm a celebrity... get me out of here" starts again, this blog cant help but ponder what an Irish themed version of the show would be like. The Irish version would not have to bother drafting in Z-list celebrities, aging sports stars and models to provide entertainment when we have a circus troop of state paid entertainers already plying their trade in Leinster House, and who would be only too happy to get any chance to publicise themselves. Yes folks, meet the stars of "I'm a minister...get me out of here", Ireland's grossfest reality tv show that you really hate to watch and just know will end up being won by the loudest eejit taking part.
First up is John Gormley, a man who would irritate the fleas off a dogs back. John has to jump out of a plane above camp, but for your entertainment, the other contestants boot him out without his parachute. Only Gormley could float down on his own over inflated sense of esteem. He lands safely in camp, determined to pass a bill banning grub hunting.
Next up is Enda Kenny, an early favourite, until people get to know him and realise hes a complete prat. Enda is voted out but refuses to accept the result, challenging the validity of this early poll. For your entertainment. After being escorted off the set by security, he tells anyone who'll listen that it was another Richard Bruton plot against him. "I'm a minister" presenters Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael McDowell smile at the camera and introduce contestant number 3, Mary Harney.
Mary becomes a national hate figure when in a fit of madness caused by two hours of hunger, she succumbs to cannibalism and eats John Gormley. For the rest of the show she enjoys a will they/wont they romantic tension with Offaly Pig collector and Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. For your entertainment. In the end he chooses Jackie Healy Rae, whom he seduces with a new hospital and brown paper envelope factory for Kenmare.
The show is won by an eccentric egocentric young man named Eamon Gilmore, who wins the nations heart with his boyish good looks and deep media connections. After he completes his final task, swallowing Fianna Fails BS about the necessity of cuts in Budget 2011 and keeping his blindfold on while Ireland's most vulnerable drown, hes the shoe in for the winners prize. He receives his winners crown from Jose Manuel Barroso. For your entertainment.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A waste of taxpayers money

One thing that this blog hates is the use of taxpayers money by a politician to further their own political career. This is without exception an unlawful use of money taken by the state from under pressure citizens. If I were a milkman, would I be allowed to steal milk from the Creamery and sell it for my own personal profit? If I were a postman, would I be entitled to take money and packages from other peoples mail? If I were a banker, well maybe a banker is a bad example, but you get the point. A politician has no right to steal from the taxpayer.
Imagine this blogs horror then, when it found that a Wexford politician had seemed to recently misappropriate taxpayer funded stationary. Senator Liam Twomey, a former Fine Gael TD ( who actually won election as an Independent) is the offending politico. Senator Twomey recently used Seanad stationary and postage, paid for by the Irish taxpayer, to send letters to the homes of Wexford people. The letters were not instructions on how to survive the recession or even an alternative pre budget plan from Fine Gael, but rather a request for Wexford people to vote for Michael Collins in Ireland's Greatest, a recent obscure piece of semi factual history from RTE.

Senator Twomey and Michael Collins
 Twomeys request failed and Collins lost, not that it matters to anyone with half a brain who values a better future for the people of Ireland above quasi documentary filth coming out of RTE. What really matters is that Senator Twomey wasted Seanad funds to send out a letter that tried to connect the hasbeen doctor with a genuine Irish patriot. Perhaps if Senator Twomney wanted to stand in the light of patriotism, he should have spent his time fighting for the rights of the forgotten county of Wexford, who have already lost a rail service this year, and are in danger of losing their full time psychiatric unit at St. Senans and several important services at Wexford General hospital. Sadly, Senator Twomey decided running taxpayer funded advertisements for RTE was more of a priority for him.
While we appreciate Liam Twomeys newly found interest in Irish Republicanism, and greatly enjoyed his copyright poem about Collins, this blog finds that it must protest this gross misuse of taxpayers money, and question just why our beloved local media didn't bring this scandal to the attention of the people of Wexford. Laziness? Incompetence? Fear?

Senator Liam Twomey
We have brought it to your attention, and Sinn Féin will bring it to Senator Twomeys attention in the Seanad, and to the attention of his Fine Gael comrades on local councils and in Leinster House. Hopefully he will have an explanation for these letters. As for those who might say that these are reckless accusations to be making, this blog is currently holding five copies of Senator Twomeys letter, and can get their hands on many more. In fact, this blog might frame one for prosperity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Section 31 in 2010

In January 1994, the Irish government announced that it was ending twenty one years of media censorship of Irish Republicanism by lifting the section 31 ban. Sinn Féin, who had been denied a voice in the established media for over two decades, celebrated the lifting of the draconian ban and felt that now they would finally be allowed to represent their supporters and their ideals in a new open and fair media.
Nearly seventeen years have passed since the official removal of section 31, but its totalitarian legacy still resonates through our nations national media. Last week Sinn Féin published progressive pre budget proposals that put the needs of Ireland's people before the needs of toxic banks or jumped up eurocrats, who are attempting to exercise fiscal control over our country without any mandate.
Sinn Féin's proposals were widely welcomed by independent economists and sober political analysts. Sadly, our so called impartial media didn't get it, choosing to throw crude and unfounded hexes on the only partisan economic proposals that have made any sense in this country since the crisis began, and in some cases they chose to completely ignore the party's plan.
Imagine if Enda Kenny had come out and stated that not only would Fine Gael oppose all cuts, but they would also reintroduce the Christmas benefit bonus to boost local economy and protect under siege families from the dangers of loan sharks?
Imagine if Kenny had said that those international hotshots who had invested in high risk subordinated bonds would now have to live with their loss because they weren't getting a penny from the Irish taxpayer?
Imagine if Kenny had unveiled plans to invest €7 billion in the Irish people, getting our unemployed back to work by building up our infrastructure?
It would have been frontpage news on every national and local newspaper, and would still be dominating the airwaves. Is Irish media censorship just the mental construct of a few demented republicans and socialists? Or is section 31 alive and well in 2010?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The New Class War

One of the things that this recession has exposed is the growing class divisions that have once again arisen in Ireland. We are living in a society where senior civil servants get paid more than the President of the United States of America, in contrast to other citizens who fear a cut in social welfare or the old age pension in the next budget will see them go without adequate heating for the rest of the Winter. We live in a nation where greedy bankers ,who have brought the economy to its knees causing the return of mass emigration and unemployment, can escape justice, but a family can lose their home for falling behind on payments. We live in a country where protesting against rising education fees is a greater crime than building slums for mass profit then allowing your company to go bankrupt to avoid having to pay your hard working sub contractors.
There are hundreds of thousands of Irish people living in fear of this states next budget, believing it will cut them to the bone. Its not a case of losing their disposal income, but rather the real fear of losing their homes, their cars, their means of providing for their children. Our government says we must all share the pain. What they don't say is that the rich of this country have been allowed to go through the celtic tiger years paying an effective tax rate of 20%. They also fail to mention the scores of Irish senior civil servants who get paid more than Barack Obama. Included among them is our glorious Taoiseach, but there are many others.
The head of the National Treasury Management Agency (The group set up in response to the corruption found in our baking sector) John Corrigan is paid in excess of €500,000 a year. Brendan McDonagh, the Head of NAMA also earns over €500,000. Padraig McManus, The head of the ESB gets €458,309 per annum, while  John Mullins of Bord Gais gets €344,000.  Declan Collier the CEO of the Dublin Airport Authority gets €478,100. An Post's Donal Connell gets paid €423,000 per year. David Gunning of Coillte gets €343,000. There are many others we could name but I think you get the point. This blog does not not believe these people are "sharing the pain".

The established media, at both national and local gutter press level have been making a serious attempt to vilify the unemployed over the past year. They support the establishment view that alot of our problems are currently caused by the four hundred and thirty thousand people on welfare. We have over 13% unemployment. Two and half years ago we had closer to 4%. Whats not been mentioned by Fianna Fail and their media collaborators these days is that the reason we have high unemployment is because of the staggering levels of corruption allowed by our government to fester during the tiger years, and because of Fianna Fails incompetent handling of our economic crisis. There has been a general concensus among the government and the "main" opposition to criminalise the ordinary people of Ireland. Only Sinn Féin have stood against this vile practice.
This blog regrets that it has heard many horror stories from normal people, who up to two years ago were contributing to our economy, and are now left on the scrapheap. They have told us how they cannot get employment without retraining, and they cannot get retraining as FAS are apparently bankrupt, Now that's a real catch 22. They have told us how members of social welfare, supporting the governments policy, have clandestinely suggested they should look for employment "abroad". Most terribly, some have told us that they had to break up with their partners due to the unfairness and sexist policy of the department of social protection. Currently, Irish couples are treated as equals in the eyes of the Irish taxation system, with both paying their own taxes. However, in the eyes of the department of social protection, the partner not working is treated as the dependent of the other. In the now common scenario, where both partners are unemployed, the woman is treated as the dependent of the man, and her social welfare is cut to €130 a week. It can become even more complicated when kids are involved. What kind of system is this to have in place in a progressive western nation in the year 2010? This blog can say with absolute certainly that the regressive policies of the current Fianna Fail/green coalition have led to couples breaking up, marriages ending and children being left with only one parent. Let that be the epitaph of this cruel government.

Sinn Féin stands alone against the slash and burn policies of the other parties. Sinn Féin have put forward a progressive alternative budget that reduces no citizen below an acceptable threshold of wealth. Sinn Féin propose mass tax reform and the introduction of a €7 billion stimulus to get Ireland back to work. Sinn Féin opposes class division and stands alone for an Ireland of Equals.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sinn Féin versus the Bank Bail Out

A few short months ago this blog was both shocked and saddened to read an American headline entitled, "The bank that brought down a nation". Prehaps that wasnt the exact wording, but it was a clear meaning. The Americans, and the rest of the world, were watching in amazement as the Irish government chose covering subordinated bond holders tied to their nations failed banks, over the welfare of its own citizens. The rest of the world were watching our government ignore convention in promising to make Irelands citizens pay for the banking crisis, which they clearly were not responsible for and could only pay for at the expense of their whole way of life.

The recapitalisation of our banks is expected to cost in the range of €45 billion to €50 billion. Over €30 billion is already wrote off to loss in Anglo and Irish Nationwide. Sinn Féin believes that there will be a minimal if not zero return on the funds committed to recapitalising the remaining institutions. The cost of NAMA is not included in these figures. In the worst case scenario, NAMA will cost the Irish taxpayer €40 billion, while the very best scenario still sees the Irish taxpayer €1 billion down.
Sinn Féin believes rather than standing up for the bank bondholders, our government needs to stand up for the Irish people and the future of our economy. If additional billions can always be found for the banks, money can be found for our recovery. The Fianna Fail/Green coalition has it backwards; banks follow the economy; they do not lead it: fix the economy and you fix the banks as well as fix the future.
Certain opposition parties who seem unable to come up with their own progressive economic proposals are spending their time attacking Sinn Féin over our original stance on the bank bail out two years ago. It is true that Sinn Féin supported the original motion, as the guarantee appeared to be a measure to stabilise the entire banking sector which was about to collapse and the party agreed to support it only with the provision of proper terms and conditions. Sinn Féin, along with the rest of the nation were misled on the facts, and when we learned that the terms and conditions provided were inadequate, we voted against it and have done so ever since.

Let no one blur the truth, Sinn Féin is one hundred percent against the bank bail out, and find the fact that the government has refused to reveal the identities of the bond holders to the Irish people, who are bankrolling their get out of jail free card, disgusting. Roman Abramovic recently outed himself as a bond holder and had the cheek to threaten to sue the Irish state if it defaulted on any part of his bond. The fact is, Abramovic invested in a high risk bond with the bank. As the caveat under every financial institution reads - Caution: the value of your investment can go down as well as up.
Sinn Féin believes that the Anglo bondholders must take the hit of their bad investment and the good deposits in the bank must be moved to the now nationalised AIB, which must become a state bank. The banking guarantee as it stands should be abolished immediately, leaving just a depositors guarantee in place.
Sinn Féin refuses to take part in the consensus pretending that the bank bail out and its effects are somehow separate from the rest of the economy, and have no impact on government finances. The bank bail out has heightened the effects of our recession, made recovery much more difficult and left us as a state on our knees before the EU and the IMF. Our international reputation is ruined and despite what Brian Cowen thinks, allowing Irelands citizens and infrastructure to decay in order to save bondsmen will not appeal us to multinational investment. You cannot separate the bank bail out and our government finances, the international markets certainly wont. In reality, the bank bail out places our true deficit in excess of 32%, a truly horrifying figure.

Remember this when the Minister for Finance slashes your social welfare, old age pension, disability payments or single mothers benefits on December the seventh. Remember this when your local hospital loses its A&E, when your local rail line is closed or when your kids cant afford to continue college due to rising fees. This budget has nothing to do deficit reduction. Every cent that is cut from frontline services, welfare benefits and general public spending next year will be redirected at least ten times into our governments bank bail out. You can stop them, but time is running out. It beyond time for the Irish people to pull the rug from under these people, once and for all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Need for a Wealth Tax in Ireland

Nobody will argue that Ireland is in the midst of a crippling recession, which has left our state dented and on the verge of bankruptcy and occupation by the IMF. However, to say that there is no money left in our country is completely wrong. The gross wealth of Irish households now stands at €1 trillion. The net wealth of Irish households grew by €24 billion last year. Yet our total tax take from all sectors is expected to come in at approximately €30 billion in 2010, among the lowest tax to GDP ratios in the EU. Its clear that some people in this state are not pulling their weight.

The Irish government, backed by a national media obsessed with preserving the status quo say that we must all share the pain. They imply that Irelands wealthy are already contributing more than enough, so Irelands poor must now contribute through the slashing of welfare benefits and public services. The government says that it is impossible to increase taxes on high earners as they already pay a marginal rate of over 50%. This is not quite true, as the marginal rate is the tax paid in the last euro of someones earnings. The effective tax rate these high earners are paying is 20.3%. This means that the frequently quoted statistic of most tax being paid by high earners is misleading. This statistic maybe true of income tax but not of taxes generally. The Commission of Taxation Report lists over 130 tax breaks and exemptions. These are mostly only accessible to high income earners.

The top 1% of our population owns 20% of all our wealth. They owned it before the recession, and will be only too happy to hold onto it while the weak are cut to the bone by our corrupt government on December the seventh.
Sinn Féin propose an income linked 1% wealth tax on assets in excess of €1 million, excluding working farmland. Only the percentagege over the €1 million is taxed, so an individual who's assets are €1.5 million pays 1% of €0.5 million. The provision of an income link will remove the potential pitfalls of those living in homes that have gained in value while their net income remains low. Sinn Féin's calculations, which have been checked by the Department of Finance and leading economists, show that the wealth tax will introduce an extra €1 billion into our national finances in a full year.

The current government will likely say that such a tax would risk a capital flight scenario, where the wealthy move their assets abroad. Such an argument wont stand up as Sinn Féin envisages a wealth tax being based on global assets, much like its French counterpart, the ISF. And for those who say that wealth taxes do not work, just look at France, Switzerland, Holland and Norway, where they not only worked but also introduced additional benefits to raising revenue in those nations. Countries like these are less likely to see over inflated property prices, because nobody wants to overprice their home and have to pay relevant wealth tax on it.
Sinn Féin's wealth tax offers a fairer alternative to the governments slash and burn budget plan. Why cut benefits to the old, the sick and the unemployed when there is a much better alternative available. Fianna Fail and its opposition counterparts wish to protect the super elite and ultra rich who fund their parties. Sinn Féin wishes to protect the ordinary citizens. Its time for the people to make their choice. Its time for change.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Get Ireland back to work - Time to break open our piggy bank

Ireland is in a state of financial meltdown. Over four hundred and fifty thousand people are unemployed. Tax take in will be down this year despite the gross wealth of Irish households now standing at €1 trillion, and net wealth of households growing by €24 billion last year. To put it simply, this country is broken and the system responsible for mending it is inadequate. New thinking is required, and radical change drastically needed.

Our current government are slaves to the orthodoxy of Austerity. They believe that when times are hard, instead of trying to make them better through stimulus and job creation, you should slash government spending and tighten your belts. They firmly believe this and want you to believe it too. That is why the media are working overtime to support the idea that savage cuts are the only game in town. The very sad thing is that they are wrong, and the people who will pay for their mistake are the most vulnerable in our society.
We have had three years of government cuts now, and it is clear that they have completely failed to improve the situation, and have in fact hurt our economy. Madness by definition is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome. Our governments savage cuts plan is madness.
To improve our economy and cut the deficit we need to examine the true nature of our problem. Cutting spending puts people out of work, bringing your tax down and welfare up. Cutting welfare means less private spending and damage to the local economy which leads to more people losing their jobs, bringing your tax down lower and your welfare up higher. More people in work brings more tax in and saves on welfare payments. Simple?
Not simple, but certainly attainable.

Sinn Féin proposes introducing a €7 billion stimulus, administered out over the next 3.5 years in a mass state wide investment programme. The National Development Plan could be redrawn to focus on the more labour intensive and necessary needed infrastructure. Lets put the unemployed from the construction sector back to work building new schools, hospitals, converting empty houses to social housing and improving energy efficiency in homes. Lets employ people to take on specific clerical work from overworked frontline workers like Gardai. Lets put Ireland back to work!
The government will say that such a stimulus is impossible as it would require further borrowing. However, Ireland already has the funds for such a stimulus. The National Pensions Reserve Fund is currently valued at €24.1 billion, €17.3 billion of which is part of a discretionary portfolio controlled by the NPRF Commission, who are responsible for investing it, much of it abroad and in Irish banks. Infact, its fair to say that our government is currently using these funds as a money pot for its banking policy. Sinn Féin says use it to improve the lives of every citizen in this state.
We are calling for a once off transfer from the fund of €7 billion, to fund a stimulus package that would see Irelands unemployed construct and manage vital new national infrastructure. The NPRF Commission are responsible for investing the NPRF money, and this will be an investment.
An investment in the future of Ireland.
An investment for every man, woman and child in this state.

As our investment will be in infrastructure such as schools, creches and broadband, there can be little leakage from our national economy. Instead the investment will slash unemployment, see national tax intake rise, cut the deficit and see a new stronger nation arise. This will get Ireland back to work. What are we waiting for?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Plan to Save our Nation

Today Sinn Féin released their pre budget 2011 plan to the country. Already there are people out there attacking it, while the mainstream media does its absolute best to ignore it. Of course this will be the case. Its a radical plan which unashamedly envisions economic recovery through a number of progressive measures which if imposed, would forever alter Irish society, smashing corruption and slashing the gulf between the poor and the very rich in our country. Its no wonder that there are conservative voices out there condemning it Sinn Féin's budget proposals and desperately trying to prevent good change to protect their vested interests.
No one, including the current government, can credibly deny that Sinn Féins economic plan for recovery would fail as it has been rubber stamped by a number of trustworthy sources including Philip Lane. Mr Lane, who is a professor of Macroeconomics at Trinity College is an economist who has been used on more than one occasion by the current government and his findings cannot be disputed by them or anyone else in the mainstream media. Philip Lane has said that Sinn Féin's plan works.

Sinn Féin recognises that the deficit caused by the disastrous policies of the government has to be reduced and that the state cant continue borrowing large sums indefinitely. Sinn Féin also recognises that the governments budget plan, and similar notions expressed by spokespeople from the other opposition parties, will not work, and will result in prolonged economic misery for the people of this nation.
The plan to reduce the deficit by 2014 by imposing savage cuts to front line services will be hugely damaging. It will deflate the economy and worsen the recession. The general consensus among government and certain opposition parties that welfare cuts are needed is madness. Cutting welfare is a false economy and one that ultimately causes misery for those on the receiving end of the policy. People on social welfare put their money back into the local economy. Cut this welfare and you inflict cuts on the local economy. People on social welfare spend their benefits, and generally cant afford long term savings. This spending is essential to boost our economy.
The governments four year plan time frame was made before they decided to bailout the banks with €50 billion in recapitalization. There is no way that the state can separate the impact of its banking policy on its public finances, no matter what Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour say. The government continues to speak of dealing with our "structural" deficit of 11.9%, but if you factor in the bank recapitalization, our true deficit stands at a frightening 32%.

Sinn Féin's pre budget plan sets out to reduce the deficit by €4.671 billion in 2011 and to finance a 3.5 year economic stimulus package of  €7.595 billion (€2.595 billion stimulus in 2011). Sinn Féin's proposals, as costed by the department of Finance and leading economists, would bring the deficit back to below the Stability and Growth Pact target of under 3% of GDP by at least 2016, with the potential to eradicate it completely that year. The plan will include a complete overhaul of our failed tax system and the thorough weeding out of financial corruption.
Sinn Féin's plan is based on core republican values that call for all citizens to have an absolute right to a home, a decent education for their children and access to healthcare when they need it. In a time of economic difficulty, there is a moral obligation to protect those most in need. The current government and the impotent "main" opposition parties have abandoned the weak and vulnerable, writing them off as causalities of the international recession and the threat of IMF occupation. They have abandoned you. We have not.

The only silver lining this recession offers us is the opportunity to examine our unfair tax system and tackle the rampant corruption that has infested this state. The top 1% of our population own 20% of all the wealth. The CEO of the HSE earns more than the President of the USA. Our public representatives are currently paid among the highest in Europe, despite growing debt levels. Radical change is needed now.
The current government has continually told us that our situation is dire, and that the state is facing bankruptcy. If this is so, we need radical proposals, not the tired policy of spending cuts. We've had three years of Fianna Fail spending cuts and whats happened? The deficit has grown. This government has a singular stubborn plan, to cut spending, not to cut the deficit. Sinn Féin has a radical plan which will save our economy and get the nation back to work. Its time for change.