Making a national point locally
The eyes of the world may be on Cyprus and the ECB but members of the ‘Fermoy Says No’ campaign strongly believe Ireland is not the ‘good news story’ for austerity that it is purported to be.
“Supposedly austerity has ‘worked’ in this country. We’ve raised taxes, often by stealth and unfairly, hitting those who cannot afford to pay. We’ve cut services even on the front line and stopped investing in Gardai, nurses and teachers,” a spokesman for the group pointed out this week.
“Education at third level has become ever more expensive which is hardly going to promote a ‘smart’ economy,” he continued before posing the question: Has austerity worked?
“The Government looks like being a few billion short of breaking even on day to day spending by this December – and if Michael Noonan finds another few billion in spending cuts and tax hikes then we are the ECB’s poster boy, the first country to exit from the bailout,” he continued, saying “the abacus of spending and borrowing hides the real story.
“Unemployment is still running at 14% and emigration is still in the thousands. There are soup kitchens in every major city and schools are giving breakfast to hungry children. A significant proportion of people cannot afford to pay their household bills and the mortgage crisis is just begining. Businsses are still going bust. It’s worthwhile to remember that the interest on our national debt alone is over five billion, if we didn’t have such debts we wouldn’t be in such trouble. Some of the debts are due to the gap between government income and expenditure when the construction industry crashed, however almost half of it is due to the bank bailout and we’ve promised to pay more bank bailouts for Anglo Irish Bank for the next 40 years.”
The future looks like more of the same, the spokesman said. “If this is considered success then the bar is very, very low,” he added.
Pointing out that the people of Ballyhea have marched for over a hundred weeks in succession against the use of taxpayer’s money to bail out banks and pay off bondholders the ‘Fermoy Says No’ spokesman went on to say that in Fermoy as well as other towns and counties, local people are taking up the flag of ‘Ireland Says No’ and are marching weekly in their local area.
This week the ‘Fermoy Says No’ group ended their march outside the constituency office of local TD Tom Barry. “It’s nothing personal and if there was a labour or even a Fianna Fail office in the town we’d be there next week,” the spokesman said.
“This recession and austerity is not a natural disaster but a man-made disaster. Our elected representatives should be prepared to hear our voices and face the people. Our message is simple: these are not our debts nor should our children pay them in the decades to come.”
Marches continue each Sunday at 12.30, marching from outside St Patrick’s Church, Fermoy. For more information contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or see ‘Fermoy Says No’ on Facebook.