Michael Finnegan, President of the Workers’ Party has described the government's much vaunted four-year plan as: “A stale and tired document produced by a jaded government with a failed ideology, which does not provide a roadmap for recovery”.
“It is indicative of the mentality of this government that one Euro per hour can be cut from the minimum wage but not one cent tax placed on wealth. The Galway Races tent mentality still pervades Fianna Fail” stated Mr Finnegan.
“The most striking failure of the 150 page document is the failure to set out a strategy for job creation. The government has failed to grasp the simple reality that if we create sufficient worthwhile employment we can earn our way out of this crisis”.
“The Irish people, through our publicly owned commercial semi-state companies, have a rock-solid base of 40,000 jobs which could be doubled, at no cost to the exchequer, if innovative political and management decisions were taken by the government. They have failed miserably to so do”.
“The so-called plan” continued Mr Finnegan “once again targets the poor, the lower and middle income groups. While tax is being extended on those at the bottom of the income pile, this rump government again abjectly refuses to introduce a third tax band for those at the upper income level”.
The Workers Party President described cuts in social welfare payments for jobseekers as “punishing the unemployed instead of those who took their jobs away by bankrupting the country”.
“They barely scratch the surface of tax-shelters. They continue to allow double jobbing by consultants as wages for nurses and hospital porters are reduced. The massive public subsidy to multinational private hospitals continues, as does the obscene subsidy to exclusive fee-paying schools”.
“How can we take a four year plan seriously when it sidesteps completely the issue of the future of the Irish banking system? This millstone around our necks, which has destroyed our economy and led the government into the poisoned embrace of the IMF / ECB, is not addressed in this document. Is this government serious?”
“Lastly” said Michael Finnegan “this government fails to tackle the issue of the wealth and job creation potential of our natural resources. We have vast reserves of oil and gas, which Fianna Fáil politicians over the last half century have signed away to foreign multinationals. This economic treason, whether or not facilitated by bribery, must be addressed and reversed by the incoming Irish government. The economic and wealth potential of this one step would drive massive economic growth and obliterate the need for this strategy of poverty and stagnation unveiled today”.
Issued: Wednesday 24th November 2010