Archive for the ‘Austerity’ Category

So, the recovery has finally arrived. The economy is growing, unemployment is falling and the long cold winter of austerity has come to an end.

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Something important is happening in Belfast and Athens. Sinn Féin and Syriza are taking a stand against austerity.

Contrary to the lazy commentary of some this is not a case of weak Governments unwilling to take hard decisions.

It is a rare example of politics with backbone, of politicians honouring their election pledges.

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One thing is clear from the Governments much hyped Spring Statement – they have learned nothing from the mistakes of the past.

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How unequal is our economy? How does our gap between rich and poor compare to EU and OECD counterparts? Are we following the global trend towards higher income inequality?

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The politics and economics of austerity have failed to deliver a fair recovery. However anger or apathy are not the way forward. Opposition to unjust taxes and demands for increased public spending were never enough. We need to promote our workable alternatives to fiscal waterboarding Irish style.

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The significance of Syriza’s victory in Greece cannot be underestimated. It represents much more than opposition to the failed policy of austerity. It is a direct challenge to the social and economic consensus that has dominated Europe and the liberal democratic world for decades.

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Like Robin Hood in reverse, Fine Gael take from the poor and give to the rich. To be more precise they take from low and middle income earners and give to the top 10%.

They are ably helped by their very own Friar Tuck but again in reverse. Labour are the jovial mendicant’s alter ego, slavishly bending to the authority of Frankfurt and Brussels.

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