The President of the Workers' Party, Michael Finnegan has called for a campaign of civil disobedience in protest against proposed cuts in social welfare and essential services which are aimed at the vulnerable and in particular pensioners and children.
Mr. Finnegan said civil disobedience could include non-cooperation with forthcoming Census returns from households, refusal to pay water charges and other such charges.
"These cuts were worked out by the Fianna Fail / Green Party government along with the IMF and the ECB. There was no democratic mandate for these extremely far reaching measures which pours countless billions of Euro into the banks while impoverishing generations of Irish people. Ireland is supposed to be a democracy but people are being treated as if it were a dictatorship. As in previous generations the Irish people must reclaim their birthright and the right to determine their own futures".
"The most vulnerable are the main targets along with the below-cost sale of valuable public assets built up over decades and which are crucial to economic recovery. The elderly who have spent their lives building up the country and children who now stand to inherit nothing but poverty will carry the brunt of these undemocratic proposals. The old now live in fear and uncertainty. Not only will they suffer cuts to an already poor health service but anyone with an additional work pension faces tax increases".
"The Old Age Pension is to remain at the same rate until 2015 – this taking inflation into account amounts to a cut. A further worrying point is the means testing of community health services. Additionally, Public Service pensioners on a relatively low income of between €12,000 and €24,000 face a 6% reduction. Scandalously, according to the Plan this is done in the name of ‘fairness’. Impositions of flat rate taxes and charges will further cripple the vulnerable and elderly – increases in VAT, carbon tax, property tax and water charges will all hit these groups and in particular the elderly hardest".
"Alarmingly the so-called ‘National Recovery Plan’ is set to benefit the tiny wealthy elite whose practices have got the country into crisis. What is proposed will further enrich this tiny group and is similar to pouring our wealth into a black hole".
Issued 6th December 2010