The Economic Crisis - A Socialist Solution

Workers' Party launch alternative strategy for the economy

The Economic Crisis - A Socialist Solution

Launching the Workers’ Party economic policy document “The Economic Crisis - A Socialist Solution” at a Press Conference today in Dublin (Tuesday), Workers Party President Michael Finnegan said:

“Over the last year the economic model of unfettered capitalism promoted in Ireland, the EU and the United States, has collapsed ignominiously.  In Ireland the collapse has been particularly spectacular. Unfortunately the government seems intent on continuing down the same path. The deliberately engineered collapse of the social partnership talks by the government, and the unilateral implementation of a partisan programme is a recipe for disaster.

“There is an alternative path.  In our policy document we have outlined that path.

The main points of the Workers’ Party programme:-

Job creation by investment in social infrastructure, funded on a mortgage basis against the national pension reserve fund
  • Job creation by upgrading heating and insulation levels in existing houses, resulting in savings to both families and to the state
  • A meaningful programme of training and skills development for all workers who lose employment.
  • No wage cuts in the public sector
  • No cutback on workers’ pension and legislation to protect workers pensions and entitlements
  • No privatisation of public assets
  • Development of Anglo-Irish Bank into a genuine State bank
  • Full pursuit of the corporate clients of Anglo for the value of their loans
  • Transfer of ownership of collateral seized in lieu of loans to the main shareholder - the State - for long-term national development
  • Total rejection of the concept of a state-owned “Toxic Bank”
  • Broadening of the tax base by ending the myriad of tax avoidance schemes, ranging from Section 23 to stud farms
  • A new tax band for the super rich - All income above three (3) times the average industrial wage subject to a tax rate of 50%

“These solutions offer a much more progressive option to the working people of Ireland than the hair shirt formula which the government seems intent on announcing later today”..

“It is important to understand that the depth of the economic crisis facing Ireland is largely due to economic policies pursued in this country by government and business over the last ten years and cannot be blamed in some glib fashion on the global economic downturn”, said Mr. Finnegan.

“The glorification of a boom in land speculation and construction as some sort of economic miracle which would last forever and place Ireland at the forefront of international economic development is a house built on a foundation of sand.  Those sands have shifted and the entire house of cards has collapsed”.  

“We believe it is important that, as in any situation, a clear analysis of the mistakes that were made is necessary before a worthwhile prescription for the future can be put in place.  We do not accept the jargon from the bankers and speculators that we draw a veil over the past.  Those who created the crisis cannot pretend to reinvent themselves as the saviours of the future”.

“Workers, the unemployed, pensioners and mortgage holders are not culpable in the present crisis and therefore cannot be forced to shoulder the responsibility of solving it.  Those who have evaded tax for too long must now be made to pay their fair share”.
Issued Tuesday, 3rd February 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics