There is only one thing this discredited government can do which would benefit the people of this country and that is to resign and call a general election. This discredited coalition government of Fianna Fail and Greens has no mandate for any of its actions and policies.
This is now a far different country from June 2007 when, once again, Bertie Ahern bluffed and conned the electorate into letting him to cobble together a coalition government.
Having presided over the creation of an economy dominated by crooked bankers, speculators and developers who have through their actions made fortunes for a few but have now wreaked havoc on Irish society this coalition government proposes is first to make the working class in the public and private sector pay for the crimes of their banker and property speculator friends.
With hundreds of thousands unemployed, thousands more losing their homes, many thousands have already lost their medical cards, pensions and social welfare recipients have lost their Christmas bonuses, 6,600 jobs will be lost in the community care area.
All the talk from this coalition government is cuts, cuts and more cuts. Not a word about taxing those who can best afford it and who have made fortunes over the past ten years. The so-called voluntary cuts taken by politicians and TV/radio stars are not comparable to cuts imposed on workers who are for the most part on wages of €400 a week.
Compare this to presenters/commentators in RTE being paid, not earning, over €11,000 a week and most of these
TV/radio stars are further protected by having themselves in a limited company. Workers pay 40% in taxes. Companies pay 20% in taxes.
We have 6,000 tax exiles who reap the benefits of Irish citizenship without making a worthwhile contribution to society. One example, Denis O’Brien, he of the Moriarty Tribunal fame, has an aircraft leasing company registered in Ireland which made a profit of €10 million in 2008.
The media onslaught, TV, radio and print, on the public sector is another instance of how our society dominated by the few who own and control the mass media can twist and manipulate facts to justify their ends. What is required, as ICTU and indeed IBEC have agreed, is for a stimulus package to be introduced in order to create jobs.
Why cannot this coalition government follow the example of Germany where jobs were subsidised. It costs €1 billion in social welfare payments for every 50,000 unemployed. Surely the billions given to bankers and speculators should be spent on creating jobs.
Stimulate the economy not decimate it, is the way forward. Coupled with the massive loss of jobs over the past year there has been a continuous attack by employers on the rights of workers. Working conditions, rates of pay, increase in working hours, rejection by employers of many proposals, by Independent arbitration bodies resulting in long and bitter disputes.
We need only recall Coca Cola, Dublin Port workers, Manor Nursing Home, Mr Binman of Tipperary who in particular has shown workers and their families that the legacy of the notorious William Martin Murphy of the 1913 Lockout still lives on.
The Public and Private sector are under attack. The campaign by government and IBEC to divide workers must be exposed and resisted. We must remember that Unity is Strength- Division is Weakness.