Public urged to attend austerity march in Dublin


Five austerity budgets had left 300,000 people unemployed and one million people living in deprivation, Michael O’Reilly of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions said yesterday.

“Yet, on December 5th, the Government is set to introduce the sixth austerity budget since the onset of the crisis,” he said.

Mr O’Reilly was speaking at a press conference at which details of a lunchtime anti-austerity march in Dublin city centre next Saturday were announced.

Appealing for a large turnout, he said a clear message should be sent to the Government in advance of next month’s budget.

“We need to change direction and start focusing on growth and investment rather than destructive cuts,” he said.

The other groups involved are the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, represented yesterday by Tommy McKearney; the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, represented by John Bisset; and the Communities Against Cuts campaign, represented by Lynda Scully.

€1.7 billion cut

Ms Scully said the budget would cut €1.7 billion from public expenditure.

“If the last five budgets are anything to go by, this will be disproportionately targeted at the poorest and most disadvantaged communities, devastating the community sector by removing local services and jobs,” she added.

Ms Scully said the march would provide an opportunity for people to let the Government know the past five budgets had not worked and next month’s would not work either.

Mr Bisset said marchers would “articulate their anger at the continuation of austerity measures which will be further exacerbated” in the budget.

Mr McKearney said that with the OECD reporting Ireland’s unemployment rate as the fourth highest among developed countries, and with clear evidence of household incomes falling, the budget must not cause more damage through further cutbacks.