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Irish Congress Trade Union's Plan for a National Recovery

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | other press author Friday February 13, 2009 16:44author by Worker Report this post to the editors

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.

3. Competitiveness.

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’
8. Pensions
9. Employment Rights Legislation
10. National Recovery Bond

For the full text of the document, follow the link below

Related Link:
author by Socialist - The Peoplepublication date Fri Feb 13, 2009 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We do not need capitalism with a human face.
The end of capitalism, the end of representative democracy and the end of exploitation is what we the people need.
What we need is a communal society government by direct democracy and complete economic equality with workers in control of the means for production.
All class enemies whether they are the greedy capitalists, the bankers, the bourgeoise parasite class, the civil service, the politicians, the police and the other arms of the enforcement of the capitalist tyranny along with the union quisling need to be overthrown by popular revolution and taken away in chains.

Workers Unite!

You have nothing to lose but your chains!

author by johnbpublication date Fri Feb 20, 2009 23:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This plan was written obviously trying to stir popular support. Is it based in reality?
- who's going to pay for the 80% of recently unemployed ppls wages?
- It states that banks should be forced to lend to keep buisnesses open if jobs are at stake, and a 3 yr stop to repossesions? Isnt that just going to make the situation worse as we (taxpayers) are going to be bailing out the banks who according to this plan will be bailing out finacially strapped companies and householders who can no longer compete or pay their morgages in the downturn. Is this not throwing taxpayers cash away?
- I think the point about capping bank managers salaries is a good move, but in reality how will this make any difference to the farce that is our banking system. they owe billions and billions to wholesale banks. what is cutting the fat cats wages goign to do?

pervious post- communism was tried and failed badly, I think the problem with this country is cronism, not democracy, our finance minister only has his job because his dad was in ff before him, same deal with brian cowen, I think its time to get rid of ppl who dont have a clue what they are doing! and elect ppl who can do the job. direct democracy is a load of rubbish, the people wont vote to correct this dire situation. U need a government with strength and a pair off B$lls to put through across the board pay cuts and public service lay offs, A chuck Norris character who just doesnt care if the entire country hates him! In all times of crisis always think to yourself "what would Chuck Norris do?"

author by Declanpublication date Fri Feb 20, 2009 23:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The solutions put forward by the unions just go to show how out of touch with reality they are!
The unions pulled out of the partnership talks because none of them were strong enough to bring back the bad news to their members!
Their solutions are vague and don't deal with the issues!
The next few years of social unrest won't take away from the fact that wages will fall and standard of living will deteriorate due to the fact that we have grown increasingly uncompetitive on the global stage!
What we needed was for the unions was real partnership to help us through the difficult times! When times were good they took what they could just like all the other vested interests in the state! Now when we need them most to pull through for the society as a whole they are going to hold us all to ransom!
Most of the unionised employees are civil and public servants! They have the luxury of putting the state over a barrel!

None of the unions lobbied the Government to cool the economy, come to think of it, none of the social partners tried to slow it down!
Now they believe that they know the answers! Blaming the bankers is just not sufficient! We are all in this together and the pension levy is just the first step!
This creates a level playing field that should have been done earlier! When the taxation commission comes out with their report later this year the rest of the workers in the economy are going to be hammered further!

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