Unions should organise mass campaign to
Stop McCreevy's cuts

By Stephen Boyd Socialist Voice November 2002

Working class people are outraged by "hatchet man" McCreevy's vicious cuts announced on 14 November in the book of estimates. Ahern and Harney lied through their teeth to get re-elected. They told people there would be no cuts "whatsoever - secret or otherwise".

On 25 April at the launch of Fianna Fail's election manifesto, Ahern said "We will extend medical card eligibility to over 200,000 extra people with clear priority being given to families with children". This election lie was exposed as a sick joke by McCreevy's decision to break this promise and condemn people, some with incomes as low as 130 a week to have to continue to pay up to 45 to see a GP.

This government's agenda has been clearly exposed. On the same day as the budgets for health and education were slashed, McCreevy told big business and the multinational corporations that the government was still committed to cutting their taxes to 12.5%. What more proof is needed that Fianna Fail and the PDs are a government for the rich?

What has been the opposition's response. Aside from melodramatic condemnation of the government's plans, all that Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte have really said is that the government have been spending money recklessly over the last few years and that they should have cut spending sooner!

There is massive political anger at the government's deceit. This anger will grow once the cuts become a reality in the form of reduced services and increasing charges. Working class people must organise to fight back against these attacks. It is absolutely disgusting that the right wing leadership of ICTU and all of the major unions are still involved in negotiations on a new social partnership deal. How can these bureaucrats keep a straight face and claim that Ahern, McCreevy and Harney are the partners of working class people?

The unions should be organising campaigns against these cutbacks, mobilising the 500,000 members and their families in a mass movement to force the thieves and liars in Leinster House to reverse these vicious cuts. As a first step the unions should organise a nation-wide token work stoppage and protests at the Dail and around the country on Budget Day.

The situation is set to get worse. The decline in the economy continues unabated - recession is possible in 2003. The government are sending out a clear message - they will pursue an economic agenda that makes working class people pay for their economic mess.

We need an alternative to the failed establishment parties. Workers need to get organised to reclaim their unions and to fight for the establishment of a new party that represents the interests of working class people.

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