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Dublin march against another austerity budget

4 January 2013

Over 18,000 people marched through Dublin city centre on 24 November to voice their opposition to austerity and call for a new course for the Irish economy.

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The protest came just ahead of the announcement of the budget, which when announced, was condemned by ICTU as ‘doing little or nothing for jobs and penalises working families in order to subsidise business and employers’.

TSSA members, along with other citizens, voiced their anger on the march at an upcoming budget which it was clear would target the least well off and most vulnerable in society. The government can continue to target low and middle- income earners, or it can implement the correct policies, which would ensure that those who have more pay more. It is clear that austerity is not working and that an alternative is needed. ICTU general secretary David Begg pointed out that ‘After six austerity budgets we have seen some 360,000 jobs lost, some €28 billion extracted from the economy and yet we have made minimal impact on the deficit.’

The march was organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and supported by the ICTU, TSSA and other trade unions, political parties, the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and groups and individuals from around the country.

Michael O’Reilly, president of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) said it was just one step in a long campaign to reverse cutbacks.

‘The evidence is clear – you cannot cut your way out of a recession,’ he told protesters gathered outside the GPO on O’Connell Street.

‘On the contrary: with each cut in public spending, and with each euro taken out of the pockets of low and average earners in new or increased taxes, we are digging ourselves further into a hole.’

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ICTU have announced plans to hold a series of major demonstrations on February 9, to demand a restructuring of Ireland’s debt burden as ‘a prerequisite for recovery and a necessary condition for the maintenance of social cohesion’.

The demonstrations are planned for Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Limerick and Waterford and are timed to coincide with the next EU Council of Ministers’ meeting.

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