Need for a real alternative


The need for a real alternative was confirmed when Labour and Democratic Left once again put the bosses' interests first. They have agreed to a freeze on jobs in the public sector, a cut of £77 million in government spending and further cuts next year.

This will mean longer hospital waiting lists, more overcrowded classrooms, less jobs. This comes from the same government which reduced the levy on massively profitable banks by £36 million, reduced Corporation Tax by 2% at a cost of about £57 million, and completely exempted some new multinationals from paying any Corporation Tax at all.

Perhaps Employment Minister Richard Bruton best conveyed the government's views when he welcomed the vote by Packard workers to reluctantly accept 400 redundancies by saying he was "delighted that our intervention has been successful"

Of course these cuts don't effect the ruling class and their pals. Matt Russell was removed from the Attorney General's office because of his behaviour during the Brendan Smyth affair. Russell was either very lazy and inept, or he was trying to cover up for a child abusing priest. Either way, he got a golden handshake of £138,500 and a pension of £33,700 a year.

And then there is Hugh Coveney. He was fired from his job as Minister for Defence after he was caught trying to use his office to get business for his firm of quantity surveyors. Where did he end up? The Fine Gael/Labour/DL government appointed him as Junior Minister at the Office of Public Works. Of all the state agencies, the OPW probably most uses the services of quantity surveyors!

Originally published in Workers Solidarity 46, 1995