“The Workers’ Party welcomes every initiative that will create viable, long-term productive jobs in this country” stated Michael Finnegan, Workers Party president in response to Tuesday’s much heralded jobs initiative. “However” he continued “we regard yesterday’s announcement as more of a missed opportunity than a real step forward”.
"It is remarkable that this government can have a "jobs Initiative" without as much as one sentence on the potential growth and expansion of our successful, publicly owned, commercial semi-state companies. People are being left to rot on the dole, and more will be forced onto the dole, because this government is in thrall to the Chicago School of Economics as interpreted by Colm McCarthy and his ilk.
“To solve the unemployment crisis we need to go back to basics and remember that this catastrophe was caused by the implosion of the banking sector and the poor decisions made by the government of the day to deal with that disaster. We are, and will for a very long time, have to live with the fallout from that fundamental crisis of Irish capitalism. Despite pumping billions into the banks, and promising even more billions in the future, we still do not have a working banking system.
“The Irish people own practically the entire Irish banking system. The system is completely dysfunctional and is not meeting the needs of Irish society. It is recognised by all that this dysfunction is strangling huge sectors of the economy and is a major blockage to economic growth. Farmers need working credit, business needs working credit, families need mortgage credit. Nobody wants to see a return to the banking lunacy of the early 2000s when credit was being foisted on people practically against their will. At the same time no economy can operate in a zero credit climate.
“The first step forward, which we have previously advocated, is the recreation of an Industrial Credit Bank (ICB), an Agricultural Credit Bank (ACB), and a specialised domestic mortgage institution. From the 1930s right through to the 1990s, through times of national and international economic and p[olitical crisis, the original ICC and ACC proved their worth and provided a life line to business and agriculture. The selloff of the strategic state assets was a crime against the Irish people – but it is a crime for which the Irish people themselves now have to pay.
“A properly funded and managed Domestic Mortgage Institution, built from the embers of the EBS, PTSB, the mortgage arms of AIB and BoI, and Irish Nationwide should be easily constructed. We cannot tolerate a long term situation where the only people who are buying houses are speculators and gamblers whose only wish is to exploit the state, families, and individuals through the private rental market.”
“It is regrettable” concluded Michael Finnegan “that a fixation with Thatcherite economic policy by this new coalition is preventing it taking sensible and positive steps that could revive our economy and relieve the misery of thousands of our citizens”.
Issued: Wed 11th May 2011