Finance Minister Michael Noonan TD flabbergasted the nation yesterday with his
call on people to go on a shopping “splurge” and start spending money in the shops again. On the same programme
he suggested people should wear T-shirts emblazoned with the motto “Ireland is not Greece”.
Like Marie Antoinette, the pressure is clearly getting to him.
“The question the Irish people are asking the Minister” said Workers’
Party president Michael Finnegan is “how can we shop when you have your hand permanently in our pocket?”
“The reality for the Irish people” continued Mr Finnegan “is that
Mr. Noonan’s Fine Gael party, in coalition with the Labour Party, are continuing the austerity policies introduced by
the previous Fianna Fáil led government which they agreed with the EU and IMF without consulting the people of Ireland. These policies have seen vicious attacks
on workers pay, on jobs and on the poor. Public sector workers have been singled out for the worst attacks. They
have had an Income Levy imposed three years ago and have also been hit by other tax changes. There is an ongoing recruitment
ban in the public service which is causing chaos for the public at large”.
“There were vicious cuts in social welfare payments and move to blame the
unemployed for the crisis. Pensioners and other vulnerable groups were targeted. All of this to initially bail
out the Irish banks and is now a much bigger game to protect major European banks, maintain the Euro, and defend the capitalist
“Having ideologically endorsed Fianna Fáil’s knife-wielding, Noonan
and his government colleagues, have continued the slash and burn economics. How can he possibly expect people to go
on a shopping splurge? With what are they supposed to buy these goods? Get into more personal debt?
The ancient nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” comes to mind. Like Mother Hubbard, the Irish people can
see that the cupboard is bare”.
“The Irish people can recognise that Minister Noonan is living in a Marie
Antoinette fantasy world. It is only by job creation, the equitable redistribution of wealth, and the proper utilisation of
all, our natural resources that this country can survive. That is why, once again, we are calling for a third tax band of
50% for income over €120,000, a proper wealth tax, an expansion of the productive state commercial sector, and the use
of our oil and gas on the Norwegian model. Flights of fancy, and “let them eat cake” pronouncements are not even
funny at this stage”.