Press Launch at Buswell’s Hotel, Friday May 29 11am.
Afri’s new report, ‘The Great Gas Giveaway; How The Elites Have Gambled Our Health And Wealth’ explains how the government has squandered existing resources and refused to reconsider the ownership and exploitation of the country’s natural resources, despite possessing all the necessary tools to do so.
Ireland has entered a period of economic crisis which has affected workers,
farmers, children and the elderly alike. This week prominent Harvard economist
Niall Ferguson (‘The Ascent of Money’) warned that Ireland was the global
‘prime candidate’ for outright bankruptcy. The government has cut health
services, slashed education spending and rolled back welfare provision, warning
all the time that this is merely the beginning of even harder times to come. If
that wasn’t enough Irish taxpayers are footing the lion’s share of the
Catholic Church’s child abuse bill, a scandalous waste of resources on behalf
of the country’s most privileged institution.
Yet there is one lucrative potential source of state revenue which has been
ignored by government and opposition alike, a source of finance which has
permitted other countries to boost social spending even in times of economic
Reclaiming even a portion of the revenues that should rightfully be ours would
obviate the need for some of the cut-backs and would stimulate the economy,
relieve the impact of recession and boost employment prospects. For example,
the estimated cost of building the Metro North is €3.7 billion, a sum that
could comfortably be financed from the revenues accruing from the Corrib Gas
field and other sites, had they not been given away to private companies.
An investment of €1 billion, made possible by a mere 10 per cent stake in the
Corrib Gas field, would generate a revenue stream that would obviate the need
for such penny-pinching measures as the closure of three wards in Crumlin
Children’s Hospital due to a €9.6 million deficit.
The list of potential beneficiaries is long – the out-of-hours social service
helpline recommended in the recent Monageer report, and which the government
tells us we cannot afford, could easily be financed – costing only €15
million. The €156 million savings from scrapping the Christmas social welfare
bonus could readily be recouped by judicious investment of even a small
proportion of what the government’s stake should be in the country’s oil
and gas reserves.
It is still not too late for the government to renegotiate gas contracts and
retake control of the country’s sovereign natural resources. It is time for
the Government and the Irish Public to wake up to this reality.
Afri: 01 882 7563/7581
Related Link: http://www.afri.ie