Tipperary TD Seamus Healy Speaks On European Austerity Policies in Dail

Labour Party Minister of State at Foreign Affairs, Joe Costelloe has admitted in the Dáil that Ireland is a very wealthy country. Speaking in response to Seamus Healy, he said: “under the international human development index, the rating of country wealth, Ireland ranks seventh out of 187 countries” and this in the middle of a recession. Seamus Healy promptly asked why the Government is not taxing the super-wealthy instead of imposing home taxes and cutting the incomes of those on low and middle incomes.

 

Seamus had outlined the futility of the continued imposition of austerity policies on the peoples of Europe including Ireland. Quoting a recent article by Professor Ray Kinsella in the Examiner he said: This month’s eurozone unemployment figures reached yet another record. It is indefensible that within an economic epoch categorised by intellectual capital and innovation, youth unemployment should now stand at an average of 25% and more than double that in some of the peripheral countries which are most in need of that intellectual capital and capability. It defies common sense that an Irish Government should still feel obligated to defend such policies and attempt to impose two more years of “fiscal consolidation”. Talk of “exiting the bailout” is wide of the mark. The burden of “troikanomics”, including onerous debt-servicing costs, stretch into a future that is dominated by those who preached the austerity doctrine in the first place. Ireland’s growth capacity has been compromised; the best and brightest — our engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs — have left and the morale of those remaining is being destroyed. This is not “adjustment”; it is tantamount to self-harm.

 

Supporting a Technical Group motion calling for proposed European Treaty changes to include an option to leave the Eurozone he went on: The motion merely seeks that the option of leaving the eurozone be made available through planned treaty changes and that is a proposal I support.  The achievement of such an option would be only the start. The central EU powers should be told that Ireland’s bank-related debt must be mutualised across the eurozone in proportion to GDP, otherwise Ireland will unilaterally default and encourage other peripheral countries to do likewise and that Ireland would have to consider exiting the eurozone irrespective of treaties. Without such a stance there will of course be no re-negotiation, just continued capitulation to the austerity policies of Germany and its allies. Today vulture finance companies are buying half the country for a song. This was led by the current government off-loading over a third of Bank Of Ireland to an American consortium in a fire sale.International investors are raping the country like the British landlords of old.

 

Davitt organised a plan of campaign and Connolly set about the re-conquest of Ireland to remedy this problem. We are faced with a similar task today but where are the Davitts and the Connollys? Soon we will commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising and like Pearse, I am convinced that this generation will rediscover new leaders who will push aside the current ones on their way to the new re-conquest of Ireland.

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