Political response to economic crisis in Ireland

10th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

Sinn Féin offers a better way

By Nicky Dempsey

Sinn Féin has published its response to the Dublin government’s threatened plans to cut public spending once more in its Budget for 2011, There Is A Better Way. The Fianna Fail/ Green coalition in government has outlined planned further cuts totalling €6bn in both capital and current spending, including welfare payments to the poor. This would bring the total level of ‘fiscal tightening’ to €20.6bn since the end of 2008, which is now equivalent to 13.1% of GDP. For comparison the British government’s current plans – among the most draconian of any major European country – amount to 9.2% of GDP.

Student Demo

Defend education – oppose fees rise

5th November 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Jennifer Nash

Student Demo

Photo Alexander Howell

The coalition government has launched a massive assault on students which will cause significant social and economic damage. It plans to increase tuition fees from £3290 to £9000 per year, alongside huge cuts of 40 per cent to the higher education budget. Also the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for students studying in Further Education will be axed. This move will deny poorer students the opportunity to study beyond secondary school.

Movements against pension bill in France gets bigger and tougher

18th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

by Marie Dupont

Photo Lilicomanche

Already six nationwide demonstrations since 7 September have taken place against the proposal to increase the pension age in France. This social movement is not declining. The government is now described as ‘autistic’ – refusing any dialogue and re-iterating on and on that it will not move one inch in favour of the mass movement demands.

A new phase in the struggle against attacks on pensions in France

11th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

by Marie Dupont

In France in September there were two days of strikes, each with around three million people, demonstrating against the French government’s new pension Bill. Fifteen days later, on 2nd October, another demonstration took place with new social layers joining in. As the demonstrations were on a Saturday this allowed people who can’t go on strike to express their rejection of the pension scheme. Again, there were about three million demonstrators all over France. The strength of the protest has therefore remained intact, and a new phase has opened up with the proposal of unlimited strikes for the next national day of action which is to take place on Tuesday 12th October.

TUC

Two important developments at the TUC

20th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

Delegates launch the TUC’s All Together for
Public Services campaign outside TUC Congress

The TUC Congress in Manchester marked an important development in the campaign to oppose the coalition government’s frontal assault on the living standards of workers and the poor.

When the Labour leadership of Darling and Mandelson introduced their own measures in March this year, Darling left no-one in doubt – infamously boasting that these cuts would be ‘worse than Thatcher’. Not only did this guarantee that Labour lose the election, it disoriented many and opened the floodgates for the media to wage a relentless campaign that cuts were unavoidable to address the public sector deficit. It is only as the reality of the cuts begins to be widely recognised that the mood has shifted. That shift has been aided by the handful of national politicians who have publicly opposed the cuts and instead proposed a programme of government investment to revive the economy and narrow the deficit through growth. These include Ed Balls, Ken Livingstone and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas.

No Image

Investment not cuts

1st September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Jane West

Last week Ed Balls made a speech on the economy, entitled ‘There is an alternative’, which saw the first break in the political consensus in support of cuts and a framework of ‘paying down the deficit’, and puts forward a strong case for investment rather than cuts.

Not surprisingly, the speech was a leading item on the news the day after it was made and was widely covered in the print media, as Balls is the first senior politician – apart from Ken Livingstone in setting out his case as Labour candidate for London Mayor – to advocate an alternative strategy to that of the Coalition.