New Government plans more cuts in 2012 Budget

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Another budget looms. The Irish public again find themselves with their head under a guillotine looking up at this budget wondering about the weight behind the blade.  We are subjected to daily media leaks of what they are going to do to us in this:  Less dole, more job losses for those who have them, stopping medical cards for a few months, all the wild and fearful possibilities of a worse life for many people are being floated.    What is different this time when you compare it to the previous three or is it four austerity budgets?  We’ve been in crisis for some time now but this time the government is different.

We are being told that savings of €3.6 Billion need to be made.  We all know that this money will go towards paying the interest on that huge loan which we received from the troika of the ECB, EU, and the IMF.  It will not go towards Education, Health, Transport, Social Housing or any of the other areas that all too evidently need investment.  We all must suffer to cover the ‘losses’ of our betters.
 
Whilst people went out and used the last election as a referendum on the last government, delivering a cut of our own to Fianna Fail and recycling the Green party to oblivion, it was inevitable that the others would get their go.  Now we have Joan Burton (Minister for Social Protection, ha ha!) ably taking the baton from Mary Hanafin’s hand as she chases down dole fraud whilst Bankers play golf and NAMA works hard to maintain the lifestyles of the developers.   We have different coloured deck chairs on this ship of fools, but we’re still sinking. 
 
What did the Unions get for supporting the Labour party into power?  You get Pat Rabbitte posturing and saying that they are keep the cuts down to a mere €3.6 billion and no more even though the blue shirted Fine Gael boys want to do better and be seen as top of the class for the IMF.  We also have state assets like ESB being privatised, which is like selling your house at the bottom of a property crash.  At the same time over 240,000 people are having difficulty paying their electricity bills with ESB and have entered into a payment plan with them. 
 
The more things change the more things stay the same.  New Government, same austerity budget, new department of Social Protection, same attacks on the most vulnerable in society, new President, same platitudes, new need for more money by the defunct banks, the same boys show up for their four ball at the K club.   Jim Larkin said the great were only great because we are on our knees.  Let us arise.  People are arising from Wall Street to Tokyo, from Cairo to Rome, from Damascus to Dame. Street.  Health and Education workers in the North went on strike on October 5th in protest at frontline cuts. Sometime soon they (the Government & the Troika) are going to come to you and ask you to pay another tax, to go towards paying off the gambling losses.  It will be called the Household tax and it will be our collective chance to arise.  Let’s grasp it with both hands because the only way to fix a bully is to stand up to him. 

This article is from Issue 124 of Ireland's anarchist paper Workers Solidarity November / December 2011

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