Submissions Not Enough, We Need to Mobilise, writes Jimmy Kelly, the Regional Secretary of UNITE the Union in Ireland.
UNITE has published its pre-budget submission – ‘7 Steps to Make the Budget Better’. We put forward proposals that will end austerity, promote growth and employment, raise living standards and put the economy and society on a different path.
The Irish people know that austerity is not working. They see it in their workplaces, the dole queues, their homes and communities, the hospital wards and school classrooms. Still, the Government insists on pursuing a futile strategy. Since the crisis has begun nearly 400,000 full-time jobs have been lost. Over a million people suffer from multiple deprivation experiences, including over 350,000 children. Public services have been cut beyond breaking point while supports for the disabled, the elderly and children are being removed. The domestic recession continues. Hope has emigrated, along with thousands of young people.
We can see who is paying for the crisis. And it’s not the bondholders who took a bet, lost and still managed to get the Government to pay them off. It’s not the financial institutions, who have received, so far, over €60 billion in public subsidy. It’s not the highest income earners who have seen their living standards rise while everyone else’s has fallen. This, alone, tells the story.
It’s time we had a budget that promoted the interests of working people.