Any opportunity for the Irish economy to grow its way out of the economic crisis is being strangled at birth by the cuts mentality of the Fine Gael / Labour coalition. So said Workers Party President Michael Finnegan, who was speaking in Killarney while in Kerry to attend the ICTU conference.
Mr. Finnegan said that government policy and that imposed by the EU / IMF deal was digging Ireland deeper and deeper into permanent recession. He said that, far from creating the conditions for growth, austerity was killing off any chance this country had of getting out of recession. "Revenue figures released yesterday clearly indicate that the domestic economy is stagnating. Minister Noonan's proposal to cut another €4 billion from the economy, allied to the ideologically motivated sell-off of state assets as mooted by Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday, will further erode the domestic economic base."
"The people of Ireland are being sold misery and deprivation on a drip feed basis. It is now 1,000 days since the first austerity budget by the late Brian Lenihan and the then FF/Green/PD coalition. Since that time the dole queues have doubled and the general standard of living has seriously declined. Yet the latest World Wealth Report (compiled by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini) shows we’re not all in the financial doldrums in Ireland – the country had 19,000 “*High Net Worth Individuals” in 2010 – up 5 per cent on 2009. We would suggest that these individuals, as well as those who run away from their tax liabilities to this country, should be the target of the government revenue collection rather that those who are already on or below the poverty line."
"Any gardener could tell the government that if you prune a tree too much and don’t feed it and water it properly it will die. That is what is being done to this country and to our economy right now" concluded Mr Finnegan.
* High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are defined by the report as people with $1m (€700,000) of investible assets.