Austerity is working - for the rich!


Austerity IS working – it’s working for those at the very top of society. During the last 4 years, while the rest of us have suffered pay cuts, job losses, increased taxes and decimation of our social services, the very wealthy in Irish society have thrived.

n 2011, the wealthiest 1% of Irish people, about 36,000 people, owned 15.28% of all the wealth in the country – a total of €130.2billion. That’s an av- erage of €3.8million each.

The economic crisis is providing cover for the super wealthy to get even wealthier. Meanwhile Austerity is being heaped on us in order to pay the gambling debts of international finan- ciers. The payments made and due to be made to bondholders are startling – the entire debt we are expected to pay amounts to something like €87 billion. That’s the equivalent of every single one of us as good compliant citizens paying the household tax for the next 540 years!!

And on top of that more than half of all mortgages (affecting approx 380,000 households) are in negative equity. And then there’s household tax, property tax, water tax, septic tank tax, increased VAT, universal social charge, health & education cuts, cuts to home help services.....

It’s pretty clear. If we continue to be good compliant citizens, our society will be destroyed and there will be nothing left for our kids and grandkids.

Those of us who care about the type of society we live in can no longer afford to just give out about things. We all need to get involved. We need to begin a conversation about how we can re- place this rotten mess and what we can replace it with
Begin to question , begin to organise...

A shorter version of this article appeared in
Workers Solidarity 128 - Nov/Dec 2012