Recovery needs to address gap between haves and have not’s – Crowe
Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the current pay gap in Ireland as a significant element in the difference between the haves and the have not’s, and that any talk of a recovery needs to address this glaring imbalance.
Crowe was speaking after his party launched their A Fair Recovery is Possible policy document which aims to replace cronyism and greed with fairness and hope.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“A recent report from TASC, the Think-tank for Action on Social Change, shows that Ireland is now the most unequal country in the European Union when it comes to how the economy distributes income, before taxes and social welfare payments are included.
“The report confirmed what many frontline anti-poverty organizations have being saying consistently to this Government, that Ireland has become the most unequal country in the European Union.
“Unfortunately successive Irish Governments have chosen to protect the interests of vested financial elites over that of ordinary Irish citizens.
“What is quite clear from this, and other significant independent reports, is that inequality in Ireland is growing.
“Sinn Féin shares the Irish Congress of Trade Unions analysis that lower and middle income families have been carrying an unfair burden for the austerity cuts agenda that has been relentlessly pursued by the last two Irish governments.
“In Budget 2015 when they had the chance to ease the burden on many Irish people, they chose to assist the richest 10%.
“The concentration of income in the hands of a small elite, gives wealthy individuals greater clout to lobby Government for tax cuts that benefit their interests.
“Instead those on low to middle incomes and our public services are being consistently targeted, through a heartless austerity policy with hundreds of thousands of our best and brightest leaving our shores for the chance of work or better job prospects.
“Inequality not only leads to poverty and social exclusion but also fuels and energizes the race to the bottom when it comes to wages.
“What is needed is a fair and sustainable recovery, rather than an unequal and temporary illusion of recovery, where inequalities are becoming even more entrenched between the wealthy and the rest
“We want to see a country based on the right to:
· Decent work for decent pay
· Access to first class public services
· Affordable childcare
· Abolition of water charges and making the tax system fair
· Addressing the housing crisis
· Advancing the all-Ireland economy for all
“I believe a fair recovery is possible. Surely it’s not beyond us a people to replace cronyism and greed with fairness and hope.”