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Limerick - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970
Capitalism: Destroying the economy & our future?
How we can fight back!
Every singe day in the last month 33 people were forced onto the dole in Limerick alone. Thats 1,000 people in 30 days. This is a crisis which demands emergency action by the state.
The situation is even worse for young people. Over 3,000 under 25s are now unemployed in this city. Given that there are less than 10,000 people between the age of 15 and 25 living in Limerick, and many of these are in education, the scale of the crisis is far worse than many assume.
The Socialist Party is organising a Public Meeting to discuss these issues, and how we can fight back.
Speakers: Councillor Mick Barry & a young worker
When: 7pm, Wednesday July 8th
Where: Pery's Hotel, Glentworth Street
Poster for the public meeting
The shocking figures above are are more worrying when you consider that this is only one year into what many are predicting will be a 5 or 10 year recession.
This return to mass unemployment is a symptom of the worst economic crisis since the 1920s. The government has squandered the boom and now workers are paying the price – with their jobs.
The sharp rise in the amount of workers on the live register has been a shock to the system with Dole officeschronically understaffe. For Limerick, this means it takes on average 6 weeks for them to process your application - six weeks without any income.
The Socialist Party is calling on the Department of Social Welfare to immediately hire the extra staff necessary to deal with the increase in unemployment - they need look no further than their own front door for workers to hire!
Bailout working people
The government’s attempt to deal with the crisis is not only failing, it’s making things worse. The introduction of general tax hikes, cuts in public spending and the imposition of the public service levy have reduced spending in the economy leading to further job losses.
Meanwhile the government is using billions of euro of our money to save their banker and developer friends. At the same time the unemployed are treated like criminals - queuing for hours, filling out countless forms, waiting for up to 15 weeks to get your entitlements. And now they want to further cut the dole. But it was these workers who created the Celtic Tiger.
The Socialist Party believes the unemployed must get organised to fight against any dole cuts and to demand the government take action to provide jobs.
Nationalise to defend jobs
Already in the last months in Limerick, jobs have been lost or threatened at: Dell, Banta, Flextronics and in Shannon Airport & industrial park to name a few.
These companies should be nationalised in order to save the jobs and stop rising unemployment in Limerick and the rest of the country. Once in public ownership, these companies should be placed under the control and management of the workers themselves.
The Socialist Party also calls on the government to nationalise the banking sector and use the resources to invest in job creation, including a massive series of public works, building schools, hospitals, public transport and other vital infrastructure.
Unemployment is exposing the bankruptcy of the capitalist system, where the pursuit of profit takes precedence over the rest of society. All of the establishment parties are tied to this system and go to every effort to keep it afloat. To help build an alternative and to fight for a society based on need and not profit, join the Socialist Party today.
Socialist Party Says
• Hire extra dole staff
The Department of Social Welfare should hire hundreds of staff to deal with the huge increase in applications for Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit. This would reduce waiting times and improve services while providing extra jobs.
• Scrap the Rent Allowance cut
Rent Allowance is already hard enough to get by on without the recent cuts. The government should increase rent allowance and the amount of social and affordable housing.
• No cuts to the Dole
Cuts of up to 3.4 billion euro could be made in the Social Welfare budget in December. Ireland already spends the third least in Europe on social welfare. All cuts to the dole should be resisted.
• Share out the work
Introduce a 35 hour week, without loss of pay to create more jobs in the economy.
• State must act to create jobs
The state should cut across spiralling unemployment by nationalising job shedding companies and by investing in a massive series of public works.
Come along to the public meeting to find out more
Join the fight back - Join the Socialist Party today!
PDF of a Socialist Party leaflet titled "No to Dole Cuts" handed out on Limerick Dole Queues recently
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Comments (3 of 3)Jump To Comment: 1 2 3
Limerick SP make a number of indisputable points in this article: FF did indeed squander the boom and it is the workers who are paying the price; the government is using billions of our money to save their banker and developer friends; and the banking sector certainly should be nationalised. For the sake of balance, it is worth noting that a significant proportion of the workers now paying the price in terms of their jobs actually voted for FF in the previous general election... so there is an element of “sow what you reap” when it comes to suffering for the recklessness of FF. However, that doesn’t take from the central point of this article, i.e. that capitalism’s pursuit of profit to the detriment of the rest of society is rotten and rotting.
So what about the SP proposals of no dole cuts and reducing the working week to 35hr (with no accompanying pay cut)? I have two questions that are crying out to be answered: how much would these proposals cost and where would the money come from?
Last week’s exchequer figures showed a deficit for the first 6 months of the year of about €15 billion. Now, to put that figure into context, overall revenue for the year is forecast to be €34 billion. This was described in a recent article by UCD Economist Ray Kinsella (link below): “Government expenditure for 2009 is estimated to come in at about €60 billion. Revenue is projected at about €34 billion. We have to borrow some €26 billion to keep the show on the road.” So, this government is overspending to the tune of one and three quarter times what it is earning.
Just imagine if a typical worker on the average industrial wage of €500 per week realised that he was actually spending €882 per week. Now, whereas the worker’s initial reaction might be to cut back on his spending, Comrade Barry’s advice equates to keep on spending, and in fact, increase the spending. This might be palatable if such spending was on capital infrastructure that would generate long-term returns, but our average industrial worker is overspending on day-to-day costs, with no plan of reigning in this imbalance.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask that Comrade Barry outlines how he would fund his proposals at the public talk next Wednesday. If the SP is to be taken seriously as a bona fide political party, it’ll have to move beyond simplistic populist “cookies for everyone” economic sound bites and give us something approaching policy. I’m looking for something along the lines of “Our proposals would cost €x billion” and “This money would come from ...” – am I asking for too much?
El Bull said
'how much would these proposals cost?'
A hell of a lot less than the bank bailout.
El Bull said
'where would the money come from?'
How about the 450 people in Ireland who made a combined €41 billion over the past three years (including €11 billion from property speculation) to now control a combined wealth of €63 billion.
Or maybe the companies that made €83 billion in profit in 2008 and pay the misely sum of €5billion in tax (i.e. about 6%).
El Bull said
'This might be palatable if such spending was on capital infrastructure that would generate long-term returns, but our average industrial worker is overspending on day-to-day costs, with no plan of reigning in this imbalance. '
The Government is overspending to bail out the bankers, developers, spivs and speculators. The average industrial worker has been robbed to the tune of €83 billion last year through the obscene profits of these companies and by the €41 billion over the past three years by these 450 people who created a property bubble and raked in obscene wealth that they couldn't even spend in a hundred lifetimes.
El Bull said
'If the SP is to be taken seriously as a bona fide political party, it’ll have to move beyond simplistic populist “cookies for everyone” economic sound bites and give us something approaching policy.'
I can assure you that saying 'make the rich pay for the crisis - not the working class' is not simplistic or populist - it is a clear statement of intent that the Socialist Party will fight to defend working class people and their jobs and services against the plan by the bosses and their political hacks to dump the cost fo teh crisis onto the backs of workers while they swan off in their yachts to their holiday villas in the South of Frace.
Interesting to note how the FF/FG deal done post-elections at Galway City Council to keep Labour and other Lefties out had for motive, according to at least one newspaper, developers who intended to lobby for various projects and a return of the Salthill Airshow. So these sworn enemies got in to bed because local developers wanted them to. Any Dublin-based media coming up to see how that works? Didn't think so. Any statement from Fine Gael?