- Hit the young – cut the education budget.
- Hit the old – cut home-help hours, attack the free-travel pass.
- Hit the sick – cut the healthcare budget, frontline staff and services badly affected.
- Hit the most vulnerable – cut the Special Needs budgets across the board.
- Hit the poor – introduce universal tax after universal tax, from increased VAT to Home Tax
- Hit the political class – slash numbers, salaries, allowances, pensions at national & local level.
- Hit the high earners – introduce (even temporarily) a third rate of tax.
- Hit the multi-national corporations – increase (again, even temporarily) the tax rate.
- Hit the overpaid in the upper echelons of the public sector – take on the Croke Park agreement and reduce numbers, salaries, pensions and conditions of those in upper and middle management.
- Hit the Irish Financial Services Centre, one of the many centres in which international money-laundering and multi-national tax avoidance is enabled and where the only ‘markets’ that now seem to matter live and thrive – even a minimal tax on every transaction would be a major boost to our coffers.
- Take on the big oil exploration companies, rewrite the licenses for oil/gas exploration, our oil and gas.
- Reform the social welfare system – there HAS to be a floor, and current base-line rates shouldn’t be touched; there should also be a ceiling, a maximum going into any household. Further, there should also be real incentive for people to return to work, with benefit transition periods etc.Invest in public infrastructure – broadband, water distribution, roads, railways, schools…
- Biggest challenge of all - take on the ECB. Oh yes, take on the ECB, expose them to the world for what they’ve done in forcing on Ireland a bank bailout policy that even the EuroZone leadership now acknowledges has failed, and demand repayment to this state of the €69.6bn (that’s over €15,000 for every resident), which that policy has so far cost us.
Easy decisions, tough decisions. Since their election in late February 2011, and despite all their tough pre-election promises and their hollow post-election spin, this Fine Gael/Labour coalition government has followed exactly down the line of the failed Fianna Fáil/Green government they succeeded and taken only the easy decisions.
The Ballyhea/Charleville Bank Bondholder Bailout Protest relates specifically to the final item in the above lists. For 80 weeks we’ve been marching against that ECB-enforced extortion of tens of billions from the Irish people. On October 1st, for example, AIB (which we own 99.8%) pays an unguaranteed bond of €1bn. This year, 2012, the total will be just short of €20bn; next year it’s another €17bn.
Enda, Michael and the rest say they’re taking the tough decisions – let’s see them take on the ECB. This Sunday, September 16th, week 81, timed to coincide with the reconvening of the Dáil, we begin a three-day Crusade to demand that Enda Kenny do just that. We would appreciate support along the route, which is as follows:
11.30am: Ballyhea, meet as usual at the church car-park and do the usual march;
12 noon: Charleville, meet at the Library Plaza, do the usual 15-minute march;
1pm: Adare, meet at Dunraven Arms, 15-minute march;
2pm: Limerick, meet at the Crescent, march to end of O’Connell Street.
10.45am: Nenagh, meet at the Courthouse, 15-minute march towards Dublin;
11.30am: Roscrea, meet in the square in front of AIB bank, 15-minute march out Dublin road;
12.30pm: Portlaoise, meet at roundabout near Garda station, 15-minute march towards Dublin;
2pm: Kildare, meet near Bride St/Dublin St. junc., march towards Dublin;
2.30pm: Newbridge, meet near College Park/Main Street junc., march towards Dublin
3.30pm: Naas, meet in centre of town, Newbridge Road/Main Street junction, march towards Dublin;
5.00pm: Bray, meet at the Civic Offices beside Mermaid Arts Centre on Main St., march at 5.30.
7.30pm: Dublin, meet at O’Connell Bridge, march to GPO and issue our own Proclamation.
1pm: Begin to gather at Garden of Remembrance.
2pm: March to the Dáil, meet Enda Kenny or Michael Noonan, or if not, hand in a letter demanding
they stop repressing and start representing the people who elected them.
Regards, Diarmuid O'Flynn.