The United Left Alliance today rejected calls by the IMF for more austerity and instead called for a wealth tax and a progressive taxation system among other measures to fund public services
The IMF has called for cuts to the dole as well as cuts to child benefit through means testing. They have also called for deeper cuts to the health service such as cutting medical cards for the over 70s.
Richard Boyd Barrett ULA TD said, “The IMF’s statement shows how little the EU deal on the bank debt has changed things. We are faced with continuing cuts and austerity. The real solution to Ireland’s debt problem is to cancel the debt not to make working people suffer more. Instead the IMF has called for the new household tax to be raised to a ‘suitably high level’ to pay for the ‘bailout’. This proves what the ULA and other campaigners against the household tax have been saying, this new tax will increase massively in the coming years. The IMF, the Troika and the FG-Labour government want to squeeze hard pressed families more to pay for the crisis. The only answer is mass resistance through non-payment and protests on the streets”.
Clare Daly said, “The IMF and FG-Labour want to cut the dole when instead they should be going after the super-rich. Michael Noonan’s response to a ULA parliamentary question showed the earnings the top 10,000, top 1%, top 10%, and top 20% only pay an effective income tax rate of between 29% and 21%. These super-rich are the people we should go after in the budget, not the unemployed, it’s already a struggle to survive on the current social welfare payments. Instead of attacking the poor, introducing a 5% wealth tax would garner €10 billion in tax”.
Joan Collins TD said, “The IMF again wants to attack the most vulnerable in society. Means testing child benefit payments will hit the poorer families, it will make the payment harder to get and will slow the system down. It will also cost more because they will have to establish a bureaucracy to administer the payments. The policies of the IMF and the FG-Labour government far from defending the poor are stealing from the poor to give to the super-rich. Social Justice Ireland’s recent report shows that the poorest households in Irish society have seen their disposable incomes decline by 18% whereas the wealthiest households have seen their incomes actually rise by 4%.”
Seamus Healy TD said, “The attacks on our health service is particularly disgusting when you consider that the Minister for Health is himself implicated in the profiteering from private medicine. The IMF wants to continue this assault on the old and the infirm by further eroding pensioners access to healthcare. Nearly four years ago pensioners took to the streets to defend their access to medical services through the free over 70s medical card. They showed what people power can achieve – a complete U-turn by the government. We will have to do the same again it seems to teach this FG-Labour government the lesson we taught the FF-Green coalition before them.”
Joe Higgins TD said, “The IMF suggestions are in fact kites being raised for the FG-Labour government who want to attack universal public services, from child benefit to healthcare to public transport. They hate the idea of universal provision and attack it under false claims that they want to target resources at the most vulnerable. If they want to take more of the rich they can do it far more easily and with less bureaucracy by raising taxes on the super-rich.”
For comment contact Donal Mac Fhearraigh 0876838746