Monthly Archives For September 2013

DCTU Pre-Budget Demonstration, 1 pm on Saturday 12th October, @Garden of Rememberance

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Dublin Council of Trade Unions

Pre-Budget Demonstration

SOLIDARITY and RESISTANCE

Assembling at 1 pm on Saturday 12th October at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell SquareDublin, to march to the GPO. 

The budget for 2014 is expected to take yet another €3 billion out of the economy, at a rate of two to one in favour of cuts over taxation. This will affect health, education, social protection and community services. It will not create one new job. 

Alternative sources of revenue exist: 

  • Remove the tax loopholes and ensure the multinationals pay corporation tax in full
  • Impose a special tax rate on salaries over €100,000.
  • Identify and tax all off shore accounts.
  • Use the financial relief of the promissory note deal.

The government have promised large scale job creation schemes but little has been done. Thousands are burdened with insurmountable debts on their homes and the threat of eviction hovers over many. Against this background we are organising a pre-budget demonstration assembling at 1 pm on Saturday 12th October at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell SquareDublin, to march to the GPO.

We urge all trade union bodies and campaigning organisations to march with their banners and to inform and mobilise their members to take part in this event. 

Such a show of solidarity will register the historic centenary footprint of 1913.

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Beyond Austerity

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UNITE has launched its pre-budget submission entitled, ‘Beyond Austerity’.  It puts forward a number of proposals that seek to expand economic activity – growth, investment, employment and consumer spending which has the effect of reducing the deficit in a less wasteful (i.e. less economically destructive) manner.

There is no magic bullet, a single lever that when pulled, makes everything right.  There is a need to make a number of policy areas – public sector reform, fiscal expansion, labour market, public investment, enterprise development and social insurance – work together so that it reinforces growth and rising living standards.  Inreasing economic productivity and social equity are two sides of the same coin.

The full submission can be found here.  A summary of the proposals can be found here.  The main proposals are:

  • A halt to cuts in overall spending
  • An additional €500 million in taxes to be levied on top earners and unproductive activity
  • An increase in employer’s PRSI on salaries over €100,000 with revenue to create a new pay-related unemployment benefit
  • Reinvestment of savings, efficiencies and productivity gains into domestic demand by reversing some of the most outrageous cuts in recent Budgets
  • A Special Investment Programme equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP (1.7 billion), to be funded from the sale of Irish Life and Bank of Ireland bonds
  • A €1 billion Enterprise Fund to be sourced from the Strategic Investment Fund
  • Strengthen labour rights through the introduction of the right to collective bargaining, providing part-term workers the right to full-time work within companies, and an increase in the minimum wage to €9.20 per hour.

The combined effect of these measures would be to boost employment, consumer spending and living standards while reducing poverty and deprivation.  And all these benefits work to reduce the deficit in a more sustainable way.

This is the alternative to austerity.  This is the alternative to TINA.  The issue, ultimately, is political.  And the Government has choices.

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The Alma Fetish, a New Opera by Raymond Deane (Music) and Gavin Kostick (Words)

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The Alma Fetish is a new opera by Raymond Deane (music) and Gavin Kostick (text) which will be conducted by Fergus Sheil in the world premiere performance at the National Concert Hall on Tuesday 17th September. This is the second opera presented by Wide Open Opera after our acclaimed Tristan und Isolde last autumn. 

It’s a totally new opera, based on a bizarre true story, concerning the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka and his love affair with Alma Mahler (wife of Gustav Mahler). As Alma was mourning the death of her husband, she was swept off her feet in a passionate affair with the younger artist. It didn’t last, however, and Alma, eager to move on, suggested that Kokoschka should go and fight in World War One. Grievously wounded, he returned to Vienna and was too depressed to return to painting. An inspirational thought struck him and he commissioned a life size doll of Alma, subsequently living with the doll as a partner – eating meals – going for a ride in the carriage – even taking the doll to the opera! His mood lifts and he returns to work. Everybody credits the doll with his “recovery”. He dislikes sharing the credit, and at a party he “beheads” the doll, while raucous students dismember her, throwing limbs in every direction. In a haunting postlude, Kokoschka meets Alma in a café in Venice, twenty years later. They reminisce and move on….

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