Archive for October, 2010

Seanad Election can be Used to Fight Cuts in Public Services

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Cuts in education, health and other public services are now in place. Much more are promised in the coming budget and in the following 3 budgets.

The Croke Park Deal facilitates such cuts. Over 2,500 nursing posts have been eliminated. Thousands of posts of responsibility delivering pastoral care are being eliminated in our schools. Lecturing posts are being eliminated reducing the service to third level students. Social workers are so overburdened that vulnerable people are unable to get the supports they need. Thousands of professional research staff are being employed under temporary contracts and dismissed when funding streams end. Post graduates and new graduates are unable to find jobs.

Social Welfare benefits have been cut and there are plans to increase taxation on the lower paid. There are 450,000 unemployed of which 100,000 are graduates and many have already emigrated.

There is an alternative to this.

National Community Platform
representing 29 caring bodies has launched a programme of proposals focussed on taxing the assets and incomes of the very rich instead of cutting public services. The programme-4Steps 2 Recovery is available on website

Further valuable material is available from TASC —an independent think-tank dedicated to combating Ireland’s high level of economic inequality and ensuring that public policy has equality at its core. Website

Government irresponsibly allowed Irish Banks to borrow 90 billion Euro abroad after 2003. Now the very rich must make a major contribution to providing a remedy through increased tax payments.

I contested the Seanad election (NUI Panel) on the last occasion with the support of Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) and Irish Federation of University Teachers and received almost 1500 votes.

Of course, cuts in public services cannot be prevented by the Seanad. But those elected can play an important role as public advocates on behalf of the interest groups they represent.

Senator Joe O’Toole
has used his position to promote the Croke Park Deal under which thousands of temporary staff have been dismissed and over 10,000 permanent public service posts have been eliminated causing serious damage to public services.

Senator Ronan Mullen has campaigned against reform of the law on same sex unions from a Catholic perspective. David Quinn, director of IONA Institute which supports Ronan has recently advocated cuts in public services.

Senator Fergal Quinn represents business interests.

A strong advocate for public services, for public servants, for employees generally and for the poor is urgently needed.

I am considering contesting the Seanad Election on the NUI panel when it takes place if sufficient support is available.

It is my intention if elected to use the position to enhance my work in organising public servants, employees generally and the poor to defend themselves against cuts and other oppressive policies. In pursuit of these objectives, I will be advocating increased taxation of the assets and incomes of the super-rich.

Above all a Registration Drive is needed immediately. A Registration Form can be downloaded at Tá leagan gaeilge ar fáil ar an suíomh idirlín freisin.

If you wish to help with this work, please reply to this message or telephone me at 086-4183732

Community Platform: 4 Steps 2 Recovery

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

The Community Platform: 4Steps2Recovery

Cutting vital public services, taxing low paid workers, cutting social welfare and capital investment are being presented as the only options to reduce the budget deficit.
The Community Platform rejects this notion and has launched a campaign to present real alternatives in the form of progressive tax reform that will both address the budget deficit and stimulate economic recovery.
Campaign Launch
The Campaign was launched by Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive, Barnardos on Monday 13th September

Tax campaign document – final (2)
* Anne Costello of the Community Platform presented the proposals
* Dr. Tom O Connor, Lecturer in Economic and Social Policy, Cork Institute of Technology responded

Government Must Tax the Super-Rich!

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Letter to Irish Times Published WED OCT 6

Taxing questions

* Madam, – Among the taxation proposals being mooted by government for the next and subsequent budgets is an extension of tax to the lower paid. This is to be accompanied by continued draconian reductions in the provision of health, education and other services required by the population generally and particularly by the poor. Government cuts and impositions on the poor and those on middle incomes who spend most of their income in Ireland will flatten the economy and increase the disastrous levels of unemployment and emigration.

Much of the €90 billion irresponsibly borrowed abroad by Irish banks since 2003 is still in the possession of the super-rich.

The borrowings which have bankrupt many developers have been paid to others.

The repayments on these borrowings are now being made by the citizens generally. Surely this money must be restored to the State as a priority?

The only way to recover this money is through an assets tax which is common in several countries (France, Norway, Switzerland) and in several states in the US.

If the €320 billion in assets (Wealth of the Nation Report, 2007) held by the top 5 per cent in 2007 has now shrunk to €250 billion, a 2 per cent annual assets tax on the top 5 per cent of asset holders would bring in €5 billion per year.

Raising the tax on the top 6 per cent who earn over €100,000 per annum from 27 per cent to 32 per cent of total salary, would raise a further €1.5 billion per year.

A significant increase in income taxes and assets taxes on the rich is no longer merely desirable in equity, it is a necessity in order to rescue the economy and to protect human services provision.

There is a real economic emergency. Surely the super-rich should make an emergency contribution? How about a little patriotism from them? – Yours, etc,