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POLITICAL CRISIS IN IRELAND

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment

POLITICAL CRISIS IN IRELAND

The call by Phil Prendergast MEP for Labour leader Eamonn Gilmore’s resignation in the middle of an election campaign highlights the depth of the political crisis which exists in Ireland.(Phil Prendergast is a defector from WUA- mea culpa, I directed the bye-election campaign which launched her career). Voters are deserting traditional parties in droves.The national poll published in the Independent to-day(April 28,2014) also reinforces the nature of the situation.

People do not spontaneously move towards a theory or analysis or an “ism”. Typically, they discard political instruments which they have learned to be useless for them or are oppressing them. They then attempt to use any instrument which they think might relieve their plight in the near future. Their choice is informed by a whole range of factors from the fact that a particular party has never been tried before and not worked to the fact that the political party with which they agree most is not a credible vehicle to immediately relieve their plight and there may be many other factors.
It is the task of the those on the left left who seek a transition to socialism  to organise the oppressed politically in a credible way and on a principled basis.In Ireland, people are now faced with the situation where the social democracy is oppressing them, the “communists” are virtually non existent and the “trotskyists” are obsessed with competing with each other. Indeed, the left is not fit for purpose. The prerequisite for remedying this situation is TO ADMIT THAT THE PROBLEM EXISTS.
This is not an academic matter. The disaster on the British left, populated by the same actors as in Ireland, has given rise to the situation in which the semi-fascist UKIP are heading the polls this morning!!! It is no accident that the Lucinda Creightons and the Michael McDowells are now pushing themselves forward.
All history shows that if the left fails to show a way forward, the road is opened to fascism as political crisis continues.
The drift to the right of the European social democratic parties(eg British Labour, German SPD, the   continued competition among Trotskyists in Europe and the reorganisation of the former communists (eg French CP) into a fast-disappearing social democratic dead end is fraught with danger for the working class. There is an urgent need to recognise that there is a serious problem on the left so that we can set about remedying it. Those denying that there is a problem are plying with fire.
History also shows that tahe strength of the working class gives the left significant time to show a way forward. Hitler eventually came to power after the social democrats and the communists had failed dismally to show a decisive way forward several times and over several years. Let us begin now.
We had Blueshirts in the 30′s, we may see them again unless we act now!!

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Howlin,Labour Protects Super-Rich from Tax Rise

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Statement Seamus Healy TD    087-2802199

Seamus Healy TD—Leaders Questions  Thursday April 10     Listen Live   http://wp.me/p1Uvd5-B0

Minister Brendan Howlin , Labour, holds the second most senior economic ministry.

At leaders questions, Seamus Healy TD took the Labour Party to task for bringing in regressive Budgets which hit the poor harder than the rich (See ESRI Report on recent budgets http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/QEC2013Win_SA_Callan.pdf)

The 2014 budget was more unfair to the poor than the FF/Green budgets. He sought the restoration of the respite grant for carers, cuts in home heating allowances and child benefit. He called for increased taxes on the 10,000 who earn on average 595,000 per year each (Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3,  2012). Deputy Healy pointed out that the total gross financial assets of households (324 Billion) are now back above the peak 2006 level (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2013)                                         

The bulk of these assets are held by the top 10% of the population (all those with mortgages and/or credit card debt have negative financial assets- houses, farms and business premises are not  financial assets). Deputy Healy sought that a wealth tax be placed on very large financial assets of the super-rich.

The arrogant response of Minister  Howlin (standing in for Eamonn Gilmore) was to describe the question as “drivel” and to accuse Deputy Healy of proposing “fantasy taxes” He suggested that an increase in income tax on those on 595,000  would not yield significant revenue  (Conservative friends of the rich have been making this argument for centuries) . He claimed that the local property tax which leaves the financial assets of the wealthy untouched and applies to the unemployed was an adequate response.

Any reasonably numerate person can calculate that an extra tax on the total of 5.95 Billion earned  each year by the top 10,000 income recipients and on the 324 billion in financial assets would bring significant extra revenue to the state. Howlin and the Labour Party do not want to listen. They attack the poor and those on middle incomes instead. That is why the Labour Party is heading for wipe-out and oblivion.

 

Seamus Healy TD

 

Irish Examiner Friday April 11  Juno McEnroe

 

Independent TD Seamus Healy yesterday called on the Government to introduce an asset or wealth tax in the next budget.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Mr Healy pointed to ESRI findings that the last budget had the greatest impact on low-income groups.

Labour had reneged on election pledges in 2011 and cut payments for the vulnerable, including child benefit, he said.

“It made promises with full knowledge of the situation in 2011. The assets of the super rich are back above peak levels in 2006, according to the Central Statistics Office,” Mr Healy said.

He called on the Coalition to introduce a wealth tax on those who earn over €595,000 a year.

Brendan Howlin, the public expenditure minister, rejected his criticism and said the TD engaged in “fantasy” taxes.

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All Mortgage Distress Cases Not “Solvable” Despite Assurance by Taoiseach At Leaders Questions

All Mortgage Distress Cases Not “Solvable” Despite Assurance by Taoiseach At Leaders Questions

Thousands of people are in danger of losing their homes.
On Wednesday last, at Leaders Questions in The Dail, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that if people engaged with their lenders all mortgage distress cases were “solvable”. Seamus Healy Td, who raised the matter, was accused of scaremongering about people losing their homes.
But for the second day in a row, the Taoiseach has been shown to be completely wrong. The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) has to-day revealed that only a handful of mortgages have been restructured through the insolvency procedure over the 6 months since it came into effect. Seamus had pointed out to Enda Kenny several weeks ago that 30,000 householders would be unable to avail of the process because their incomes were below the minimum allowable expenses under the Insolvency Act. Now the advocacy groups for those in mortgage distress-Phoenix, New Beginnings, Flac and Irish Mortgage Holders Association- have confirmed that this is one of two major reasons that the system is failing. Many people have no money to give the bank. The second reason is that the bank has too much power under the act to veto settlements. So even if the householder has some money to pay the bank, most such householders cannot avail of it either. The system is not working.
Yesterday the Taoiseach told Seamus Healy that it was untrue to say that a house was being repossessed every day. Within two hours this was shown to be false at the sitting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance. The Central Bank website showed that already almost two householders per day were losing their homes. This figure is to rise sharply as the number of repossession processes initiated in the second half of 2013 increased by a factor of six-from 565 to 33,000.
The government parties are trying to cover up the problem until after the local elections

Professor Ray Kinsella , Professor of Banking at UCD, has supported the view of Seamus Healy TD that the extent  of repossessions of homes now in train constitutes a major crisis.

In his column in the Irish Examiner to-day Friday April 4, Professor Kinsella says:

But there are also developments in the wider economy that impact on health, including mental health, that is left pushed to the outside of a policy calculus on UHI. A notable example is the exponential increase in housing repossession now under way and which will inevitably and inexorably impose the most severe levels of mental stress, and worse, on the health of tens of thousands of householders.

The Government knows this to be the case — the figures cited in the Dáil recently by Séamus Healy TD are truly shocking. TDs have repeatedly referred to the causes of this crisis and what needs to be done. Mainstream politics is in denial.”

A further raft of repossession cases will come before circuit court sittings in the coming week

 

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