7 April 2009
The budget presented by the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, is a Dracula budget, designed to suck the blood from workers so as to give a transfusion to bankers, stockbrokers, tax-avoiders, and property speculators. These parasites will all sleep well and will be celebrating the fact that their interests have been well looked after by “their government.”
The budget has all the hallmarks of being constructed within the narrow neo-liberal mindset of the Department of Finance, the EU Commission, and the European Central Bank.
Those people and institutions that bear a heavy responsibility for the present financial crisis, as distinct from the general crisis of global capitalism, will be the net beneficiaries of this budget.
The establishment of the National Asset Management Agency to buy the bad debts of the banks is nothing more than a means of shifting the burden of debt from those individuals and institutions that created the crisis onto the backs of working people. The Government is sacrificing the future of the country and lumbering future generations of workers and their children with massive debts in order to maintain the political and economic status quo. This approach is to give a blank cheque to the financial backers of Fianna Fáil.
Working people will see their living standards reduced; they will be saddled with increased levies; and from 1 May the early child-care supplement will be halved and by the end of the year abolished. In addition, child benefit will be means-tested or even taxed in the budget for 2010, and the Christmas bonus will not be paid.
There were no original ideas for creating a single job or for stemming the avalanche of job losses. The natural resources of the country will remain in foreign corporate hands.
Instead of propping up bad banks we need to establish a state-owned and state-controlled National Development Bank and to concentrate capital to begin the necessary reorientation of national development towards an economy centred on the needs of our people.