The Workers’ Party has published its submission
into the governments Review of State Assets and Liabilities, saying that the review amounts to a Fire Sale of state companies
and assets and a further betrayal of the Irish people.
Launching the document, Workers Party President Michael
Finnegan said that the review group headed up by Bord Snip author Colm McCarthy had been established with the sole purpose
of assessing and preparing state companies and key national assets for wholesale privatisation.
Mr. Finnegan stated:
“What are the greatest needs of the Irish economy
and Irish society at the present time? “
“Undoubtedly what we need is job creation,
solid and secure infrastructure; sustainable
investment; and productive innovation.
Because of the costs imposed on the economy in
rescuing Irish capitalism it is also
necessary, if possible, to achieve the above stated aims
without recourse to further
state borrowings. We believe that our publicly-owned companies
can deliver on all these
fronts. These companies can be our engine for growth, and economic
“The Workers’ Party believes that publicly-owned
enterprises, whether in the manufacturing or services sector, must provide a top class product
in an efficient manner and provide good
value to the customers and shareholders, which
in this instance are the Irish taxpayers”.
“The Workers’ Party is totally opposed to the privatisation of state assets.
We believe that the
state must have a key role in economic activity for the benefit of the nation and its people. We are
conscious that your committee also has an ideological position and that it is 100% at odds with ours. However, even when one
looks at the state companies from an entirely capitalist, profiteering point of view, it is clear that now is not the time
to sell the family silve”.
“Indeed, the term “family silver” is a misnomer because far from
being gaudy baubles of dubious worth, the state and semi-state companies you are reviewing are jewels of great importance
to this country. They are drivers of economic activity, and have proved their worth time after time. A fire sale of these
companies may or may not get the country out if its present manmade economic hole, but it most certainly will deprive the
country of the wherewithal to rebuild because anything built without the firm foundations of a vibrant state sector is bound
to go the same route as the previous houses of sand that are currently on life-support in this country”.
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