Working in the Community, Working for the Community
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group stands for full employment, fair taxation and the unity, independence and sovereignty of Ireland.
Our members are appalled that the Irish people have been led into subordination to Britain, Germany and France and the bankers and speculators of these countries through the EU/IMF deal.
The treachery of government and the self-serving greedy behaviour of the Irish elite is leading to savage attacks on poor and middle income earners
We are mindful of the fight for Irish Freedom waged here in Tipperary. From this perspective we can estimate the depth of the treachery that has dishonoured the memory and the heritage of all those who fought and who supported that struggle
There is a real national economic and social emergency
The economic crisis is resulting in an unprecedented onslaught on living standards, spiralling mass unemployment and a dramatic rise in poverty. Meanwhile billions are being taken from working people and given to bankers, developers and international speculators and finance houses
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group is opposed to the governments’ bailouts of banks and attacks on public services. In the general election the Workers and Unemployed Action Group is proposing a real alternative to the policies of establishment parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. The approach of a Fine Gael / Labour government in power would not be fundamentally different than those of this government.
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group rejects so-called solutions to the economic crises based on slashing public expenditure, welfare payments and workers’ pay and pensions. There can be no just or sustainable solution to the crisis based solely on the market. Instead we favour democratic and public control over resources so that social need is prioritised over profit.
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group will not do any deals or support any coalition with any of the right wing parties particularly Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. We are committed to an alternative in Ireland to unite working people, whether public or private sector, Irish or migrant, with the unemployed, welfare recipients, pensioners and students in the struggle to change society.
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group has the following key demands:
End the bailout of banks and developers and Refuse to Pay the Debts of Private Banks to international speculators and Finance Houses.
Allowing private banks to borrow 90 billion abroad between 2003 and 2007 was an act of treachery by government and by the Irish establishment generally.
The Blanket Guarantee of all bank debts by the government was the greatest act of national treachery since the Act of Union
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group demands that that guarantee be revoked and that small individual investors be compensated.
We favour a structured negotiated default on the repayment of the debts of banks!
To those who say that this is a risky strategy, we say that in the present state of the country following the treachery of the outgoing government, that there is no strategy without risk. But the most risky strategy of all is to continue along the path advocated by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour: that is robbing the people to pay off the debts of private banks and developers. This will end in a catastrophic default and a devastated country as many serious commentators are admitting.
We should of course talk to the EU and heads of European countries
Reduce total mortgages and repayments to affordable levels to reflect the real current price of the property and outlaw repossessions/evictions of families from their homes on the basis of inability to pay.
Junkets and Bloated Salaries
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group has always opposed unnecessary travel or “junkets” by politicians at local authority and national level. Seamus Healy and his fellow Workers and Unemployed Action Group councillors have always refused to participate in this abuse. This practice should be ended through national regulation.
Ministerial salaries should be reduced to 100,000 Euro per annum
Tax the greedy not the needy
Ireland is not a poor country. Indeed it has the highest income per head in Europe other than Luxembourg but has one of the worst distributions of income and wealth in the world. Massive amounts of wealth were generated during the boom. The problem is that most of the wealth is in the hands of a tiny super-rich minority. The top 6% of Irish super-rich still have 250 billion Euro in assets. We completely reject the notion that all this wealth has suddenly disappeared.
A significant proportion of this money (€85 billion) is that irresponsibly borrowed by the banks abroad and lashed out effectively unsecured to developers. An emergency, once off, 10% levy on these assets would recover 25 billion of that money and the super-rich would still be super-rich!
To those who say that this is unreasonable, we say: it is much more reasonable than driving the poor into deeper poverty and driving tens of thousands into emigration.
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group stands for a progressive taxation system. Personal assets in excess of 1 million euro exclusive of the family home and of the family farm should be taxed on an ongoing basis as in many other countries.
We call for a third higher tax rate on incomes above 100,000 euro and a significant increase in the minimum effective tax take from very rich individuals!
It is high time that the super-rich showed a little patriotism!
We demand increases in capital gains tax and an end to all tax loopholes for the very rich.
We oppose all stealth and double taxes including refuse charges and plans to introduce water charges, and a “household tax”. We oppose the inclusion of the low paid in the tax net and will vote for any proposal to reverse the budget changes, including the universal social charge, which penalises those on low and middle incomes
We are opposed to any change in the rate of corporation profits tax.
The attempt by the major European powers to take advantage of the current crisis to force an increase in the Irish rate must be resisted.
Our candidate, Seamus Healy, will vote against any increase in the rate in Dáil Eireann if elected. The proposal of Sarkhozy is particularly hypocritical and self-serving as the effective French rate is lower than the Irish rate.
Until revenue from the wealthy comes on stream resources from the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF)and the Exchequer Fund in the Central Bank should be used to run the State and begin a job creation programme. These two bodies hold €30.56billion (€14.9billion in the NPRF and €15.7billion in the Exchequer Fund in the Central Bank) between them. These reserves would be augmented by the 25 billion from the levy on the assets of the super-rich mentioned above.
End the Jobs Crisis
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group condemns the complete failure of the government to preserve or create jobs. It’s policies are deflationary and are making the jobs crisis worse forcing the closure of many small businesses
We call for a real social development programme that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs building necessary infrastructure like public transport, sewage projects, water schemes, green energy projects, broadband, child care, schools, hospitals, health centres and other community facilities.
We oppose plans to sell off state companies as proposed by Fine Gael. Instead these companies should be used as vehicles for job creation.
The Finnish Government developed the Nokia Corporation to a state in which it now employs tens of thousands of people in Finland
This can be emulated here using existing state companies and by starting new ones.
Ireland has 3000 post doctoral-researchers, many times more post-graduate researchers. There are 100,000 with third level qualifications and thousands with trade certificates on the dole.
Research shows that there is no possibility that private industry will employ even a fraction of this priceless human asset. Instead thousands of qualified people are emigrating, placing their skills at the service of companies and of governments abroad. Parents and Irish taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions developing this priceless human resource. Instead of emigration our people must be given the opportunity to serve their own country.
New state enterprises must be developed in communications technologies, technology for sustainable energy provision and in food and agriculture based industries among others.
Take the Corrib Gas Field into public ownership and regain control over our natural resources valued at 450billion Euro.
No to free labour called “internships”. We demand real jobs and a reversal of all the cuts in social welfare and benefit payments generally.
Reverse the cuts – Defend public services
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group says: end the profiteering in health care. We stand for a properly funded and resourced public health system, free at the point of access and paid for through a progressive tax system. No privatisation of health services and end all subsidies to private care. No co-location of private hospitals on public hospital lands. The 2000 nursing posts eliminated under the staffing moratorium must be filled immediately and the proposal to force trainee nurses to work for nothing must be withdrawn.
No Downgrading of South Tipperary General Hospital
Immediate commencement of the next phase of expansion of Soth Tipperary General Hospital
Total support of the Campaign to Stop the Closure of Kickham Barracks
We demand proper state funding for the education system, free for all from early childhood to university. For more teachers to reduce class sizes and pupil teacher ratio and more special needs assistants and language support so the needs of all children are met. No re-introduction of third level fees: reverse the reductions in student maintenance grants.
No to the cuts in social welfare payments or pensions and no to the cutting, taxing or means testing of child benefit.
For a mass campaign by the trade union movement and community organisations to reverse the cuts in public services.!
We want real reform of our public services. It is time to stop copying failed private sector practices. We want an end to inflated salaries, bonuses and expenses for top public servants and politicians. There should be full public scrutiny of public spending. Public services should be run democratically with the full involvement of the workers, the service users and the wider community. These are the people who should be appointed to boards not political cronies.
Equality for all
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group supports equality for all and the elimination of all forms of discrimination based on gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.
We support a campaign by the trade unions to unionise all workers and demand the legal right to trade union recognition.
Protect the environment
Despite the rhetoric, environmental destruction is continuing apace. We call for major state investment in developing renewable energy. Through public ownership and democratic planning, the economy can be redirected onto a sustainable path.
We need real reform of our planning system, so that people’s needs and environmental protection come before the profits of developers. We call for major investment in community facilities, waste management, recycling facilities and public transport.
We are opposed to incinerators as a solution to the waste problem because they pose serious health risks. We call for a proper integrated waste management plan, including a drastic reduction of packaging combined with a serious approach to recycling and composting.
The remedy to the defects in our political system lies in increased accountability to the electorate not in elitist solutions.
We are opposed to the introduction of a list system which it is claimed would facilitate the appointment of “experts” as ministers. Almost all the relevant experts failed the country.
“Experts”, business people, trade union leaders filled the places on the Board of the Central Bank and on the National Social and Economic Council. No one shouted stop. The Economic and Social Research Institute is full of professors. They failed. Similarly, the HSE has been failed by “so-called experts”.If there had been a list system in the last election, would Seanie Fitzpatrick have been elected and could he have become Minister for Finance? After all he was at that time regarded as a financial genius!!
We are opposed to single seat constituencies which would reduce minority representation.
To increase accountability to the electorate we favour the reduction of the maximum Dáil term from 5 years to three.
If such had been in place the government could not have signed up to the EU/IMF Deal without a general election.
We favour the restoration of a popular initiative such as existed in the first constitution of the state. For example, if 25% of the electorate signed an official request, an act passed by the Dail would be submitted to referendum. If a majority opposed the act, it would be quashed. Such a process would, almost certainly, have quashed the blanket bank guarantee.
The Seanad as constituted serves no useful purpose and should be abolished.
All corporate donations to politicians and to political parties should be banned.
Extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, require political lobbyists to be publicly registered, and introduce legal protection for whistleblowers.
Unbelievably, there is no requirement on TD’s to attend the Dáil in order to receive basic salary. This abuse must be ended.
TD’s must be required to attend and vote, if only to register an abstention, on all stages of bills in order to receive basic salary.