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Irish Congress Trade Union's Plan for a National Recovery
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has issued its 10 point plan for a fairer, better way to deal with the national economic crisis. For all non-revolutionaries that want to develop a practical-realistic way out of our current economic crisis I imagine this plan for a national recovery will be of particular interest.
Ed: This story was originally removed for not adhering to our guidelines as it was a cut+paste. However due to it's importance, it has been edited but the full text is available at the link below
1. Protecting Jobs & Tackling Unemployment
Our social welfare system must be radically altered and integrated with skills enhancement, education and training. In a number of European countries, unemployed workers are guaranteed incomes of 80 percent of salary for two years, conditional on their participation in extensive training and upskilling. Employers are also assisted to identify alternatives to redundancy, such as short term working weeks and other arrangements.
2. The Banking System & the Public Interest
The Bank Recapitalisation Programme involves handing over €7 billion of public money, from the Pension Reserve Fund, to the same people who presided over the collapse. Their refusal to forego enormous personal salaries and bonuses speaks volumes about their contempt for the taxpayer. That €7 billion must not disappear into a black hole and only one consideration – the public interest – should inform Government decisions on this crucial matter. And given all that has emerged about the conduct of senior bank executives, we require a complete overhaul of Corporate Governance and clear indications that wrongdoing will be punished. Support for the banking system should be conditional on:
o public control, either through Recapitalisation or Nationalisation;
o a legally-enforceable obligation to provide support for innovation and development in the economy, along with credit and support for business cash flow, where it can be shown that it is critical to job protection or creation;
o replace all top executives responsible for the crisis, in the relevant banks;
o remuneration from all sources for those at the top must be capped;
o three year moratorium on home repossessions, where people cannot pay due to redundancy or unfair dismissal.
In addition to the absence of a properly functioning banking system, the most immediate threat to our competitiveness comes from the weakness of Sterling, not wage rates. This accounts for about two thirds of the deterioration in recent months.
Energy prices must be reduced and the only impediment to this is the nonsensical regulatory regime that has pushed prices higher to ensure private generating companies make a profit. Coupled with the failure of our broadband infrastructure - following the privatisation of Eircom - this demonstrates the critical importance of strategic state intervention in the economy.
4. The Pay Agreement
Congress continues to adhere to the Social Partnership agreement. The Government, CIF and IBEC have now, in effect, reneged on the pay deal they negotiated in September 2008. Yet, significant numbers of private sector companies have paid the first phase of that deal and others have committed to doing so. No credible reason has been advanced to explain why the ‘inability to pay’ clause has not been utilised.
5. Fairness & Taxation
The Framework Agreement includes commitments to fair and progressive taxation measures. But Government must spell out what this means in practice. How much of the €2bn shortfall will be carried by the wealthiest in the country? We believe the following reforms should be introduced:
o Income from all sources – capital and labour - must be taxed the same;
o Tax exiles must stay away if they don’t want to be taxed here;
o Tax shelters without a proven economic gain should be abolished;
o A property tax should apply to property other than the principal private residence;
o The levy on high earners (above €100k) should be graded upwards significantly;
o A new rate of income tax at 48 percent for high income earners;
o Abolish hospital co-location, with its generous tax breaks for developers.
6. Restoring Consumer Confidence
7. The Public Service ‘Pension Levy’
9. Employment Rights Legislation
10. National Recovery Bond
For the full text of the document, follow the link below