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Financial Resolutions 2013

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Budget Statement 2013

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Snippet Contents:

Shame on the Tánaiste and shame on the Labour Party. This is a disgraceful and shameful attack on families. It shows that the Labour Party has absolutely nothing in common with the Labour Party of James Connolly, Jim Larkin or any of the founders of the party. The budget hits almost every other section in society. Carers, who look after those with disabilities, are having their respite care grant cut. There are attacks on the elderly in the electricity, gas and telephone allowance household package schemes. There is a shameful attack on low income families - the working poor - with the abolition of the €127 PRSI allowance. There is the property tax, or family home tax as it should be called, which is a major attack on families, on the 160,000 mortgage holders who are in distress, on the half of mortgage holders who are in negative equity and on local authority tenants who are being hit for the first time under this tax. Of course, it bears no relationship to ability to pay. The increases in prescription charges and for the drug payment scheme are also an attack on the elderly.
The approach in the budget is wrong. It is more austerity, more cuts and more taxes. That approach has patently failed. The budget should be about job creation. Since it came to power the Government has actually destroyed jobs. In the year to 30 June, the Government's figures show that 33,400 net jobs were lost to the economy. In the quarter to 30 September, 5,800 net jobs were lost. Built into the budget is a loss of jobs this year, no increase in jobs next year and a very modest increase in jobs in 2015, which is only a target.
We need a complete change of approach. We need to stop the austerity. We need to tax the wealthy; there is huge wealth in society. We need to stop paying the debt. Some €9 billion will leave the country next year in the payment of debt. We were told that would stop. Remember the promises to burn the bondholders and not a single cent for the banks. We need direct creation of jobs by the State because there is a major job strike and investment strike by people in this country.
The trade union movement has a responsibility with regard to the budget. Can Labour-affiliated trade unions stand over this shameful budget which attacks the working poor and the most vulnerable in society? I call on these unions to disaffiliate from the Labour Party and to call a conference to start a real labour party as Connolly and Larkin did in my home town of Clonmel in 1912.