Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has described last week’s vote on the IMF deal in the Twenty-Six Counties as a sham following the discovery of shocking new details contained within the latest IMF ‘country’ report published on December 17, several days after Leinster House backed the deal.
Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson
The document outlines plans to:
Means test child benefit payments by 2014
Cut the rate of state pension
Abolish the current student grant scheme in favour of student loans
Further increase third level student fees
Introduce further cuts to unemployment payments.
These new proposals are in addition to those outlined in the four-year austerity plan, which will impose a host of new stealth taxes, including the doubling of carbon tax to €30 [£25] per tonne, the introduction of water charges, a tax on family homes, along the rate VAT being increased to 23 per cent. All of these measures will be imposed by 2014.
Leeson said: “Households are already reeling from the savage cuts announced in Budget 2011. The revelation that, in addition to the destructive plans announced in the so-called Recovery Programme, child benefit will be means tested, state pensions cut, the student grant scheme abolished, third level fees increased further, and additional cuts in unemployment payments will come as a deep shock to households across the Twenty-Six Counties that are already struggling.
“The IMF has blazed a trail of destruction across the globe; the odious measures it imposes simply increase levels of poverty and inequality.”
Leeson also slammed the undemocratic nature of the deal.
“It is increasingly clear that Dublin government policy is being dictated by faceless IMF bureaucrats in Washington and rubber-stamped by a lame duck administration in Leinster House,” he added.
“The people who are being sold into penury to save the banks have no absolutely no control over how this state is run.
“The sham debate about this criminal deal that took place in Leinster House made no mention of the fact that child benefit would be means tested or that the student grant scheme is to be abolished. Brian Lenihan made much of the fact that Budget 2011 did not cut the state pension rate, but he cynically neglected to mention the fact that pensioners will face those cuts by 2014. This state is now effectively an IMF dictatorship: a dictatorship that will drive hundreds of thousands of our people into poverty and misery.”
The IMF report also confirms there are 70,000 distressed mortgages and shamefully proposes that those unable to meet their repayments simply declare insolvency, surrender their homes and seek to access social housing [Page 20 IMF Country Report No. 10/366].
Leeson continued: “What planet are the IMF living on? There are already over 50,000 households on council waiting lists across the Twenty-Six County state. Where are all of these evicted families to be housed? The IMF is proposing mass evictions in Ireland so that German and British banks can recover the hundreds of billions they are owed. Poverty and homelessness is the price working people will pay in order to clear the gambling debts of the bankers.
“These latest revelations will add to the growing well of anger building against this government and its masters in the IMF. The IMF has effectively declared war on working class communities across the Twenty-Six Counties. The people of Ireland have a proud history of resisting foreign occupation and tyranny.
“The IMF must be driven out, the bondholders burned and the sovereignty of the people restored."
The 30ft anti-IMF banner erected by éirígí Tir Chonaill
in Crolly, Co.Donegal.
éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig echoed Leeson's comments saying that working people should not be made to suffer in order to support the banks. "The shameful acts of those in Lenister House, allowing such brutal cuts to be made against the most vulnerable in our society and the ordinary working people who had nothing to do with the creation of this economic crisis, must be resisted" he said. "People must let their anger be heard in one loud clear voice that we will not pay for the mistakes of the bankers and their cohorts who have made the ordinary people suffer to keep their greedy capitalist system alive."