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Austerity has failed - Doherty

13 April, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD


A chairde – le cúig bliana anuas tá €28 Billiún bainte amach as an eacnamaíocht ag Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael agus Lucht Oibre i gcánacha agus i gciorruithe. 

Tá an cuir chuige Déine seo atá acu chun déileáil leis an ghéarchéim go díreach mar an gcéanna leis an cuir chuige atá ag páirti na gCoimeádach sa Bhreatain, Déine atá ag cur ciorruithe agus cánacha i bhfeidhm agus a bhfuil tionchur dhíreach aige ar an bhloc-dheontas a fhaigheann an Tionól sna 6 Chontae. 

Ach inniu sna 26 Contae, i ndiaidh cúig bliana den déine seo uilig, tá an easnamh níos airde ná bhí sé nuair a thárla an tobchliseadh eacnamaíochta. 

Anois, i ndiaidh na billiúin agus billiúin i gcánacha agus i gciorruithe, agus blianta de phian agus fulaingt ag muintir na tíre seo – ní bheadh iontas ar bith duit ceist a chuir – cén fáth ar bh’éigean dúinn dul tríd an oiread sin chun theacht ar ais chuig an áit cheanann chéanna ar thosaigh muid?

Nuair a chluinfidh tú an freagra, cuirfidh sé fearg mhór ort – Cuireann sé fearg ormsa.  Tá cúig bliana gan stad déanta againn ag tabhairt tarrtháil ar na bainc príobhaideacha.

Tá cúig bliana curtha isteach againn – le polasaí chun an eacnamaíocht a chúngú; le chiorruithe i gcaiteachas poiblí agus ag faisceadh na pingineacha deireanacha amach as na daoine. 

Rinne an dá pholasaí seo; tarrtháil ar an bainc agus cúngú an eacnamaíocht, boilsciú ar an easnamh agus ansin nar bhféidir é a laghdú ach trí na gnáth cháin–íocóirí a bhualadh arís agus arís agus arís eile. 

At the start of this crisis, Sinn Fein pointed out that were the government to follow a route austerity, of contracting the economy through taxes and cuts, it would lengthen the recession and it would destroy public service provision and whole communities.

We pointed out that it was not just morally bankrupt but economically foolish to pour billions of taxpayer’s money into dodgy banks while bondholders were rewarded in full.

It gives me no pleasure to say we were correct.

We in Sinn Fein didn’t have to wait for the former IMF head of mission to Ireland to tell us so as he did this week that it was wrong to pay off bondholders and impose austerity on the Irish people.

We have been beating that drum since the start of the crisis.

But Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour party told us that they knew better and what a fine mess they made of it. Unemployment at record levels, emigration at record levels, mortgage distress at record levels, poverty and child poverty growing public services slashed and vital supports to the most vulnerable withdrawn.

But the sad thing is they think they are doing a good job, they tell us we are meeting the troika targets. They tell us Merkel thinks we are special.  Our Enda, Eamon and Michael are the best boys in the class always first to raise their hands willing to offer this state as a guinea pig to test out the latest austerity approach from their EU Masters.

There was no easy way out of the economic mess that Fianna Fail created with their banker and developer friends but there was a better way and still is a fairer way.   

If we had followed a path of growth and recovery – if the government had invested in job creation in the same way it was happy to invest our money into broken banks – we would not have endured what we have over the past five years.

We would not have seen hundreds of thousands of our young people emigrate.

We would not have seen families driven to despair in mortgage distress.

We would not have seen unprecedented numbers forced to turn to the ST Vincent de Paul, soup kitchens and other charities to makes ends meet.

The reality is that it is not too late to admit that the austerity experiment has failed.

We have a choice over the next few years in this state.

We can choose to invest in jobs, to invest in people and to invest in recovery.

Or we can continue down a dangerous path of taxing low and middle income earners and cutting frontline services and workers.

For Sinn Fein the choice is obvious. We would grow the economy to recovery. We would make tax choices that are fair and we would eliminate only waste in public spending.

We would do this by reducing taxes on low and middle income earners and asking those at the very top to pay a bit more.

By a 13 billion euro jobs investment package  investing in people our economy and the future creating over 150,000 jobs in construction, tourism, IT, the public service and in renewable energy.

And we would resolve the distress mortgage crisis by removing the power from the banks who have failed to deal with the issue over the past five years. We would allow an independent panel to adjudicate of the appropriate solution for those that find themselves in mortgage distress. Solutions that would be determined on a case buy case basis and have debt write down as a central option.

Austerity has failed it is time for an alternative

This is our alternative, and it is better for the economy and better for our people.

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