Labour Party and one-sided austerity
Sir, – I wish the options were as simple as Eoin Ó Murchú implies in his attack on the Labour Party during the crisis years (January 8th). Yes, one-sided austerity was wrong. There was a better and fairer way, but it would have required socialist governments in the creditor countries.
Because we went into the government, the basic integrity of our social welfare system was maintained (despite painful cuts), the laws which protect the pay and conditions of hundreds of thousands of workers were preserved, outsourcing of public service employment on an industrial scale was prevented, all our key State assets were retained in public ownership and we regained our economic sovereignty before the end of 2013, avoiding the misery of a second “bailout”.
As a result, Ireland is in a position to make dramatic progress between now and the centenary of the foundation of the State in 2022. We can house our people, develop our public health, education and environmental services and restore pension rights.
However, this will only be possible if we have the courage to prioritise public investment over buying the people’s votes with their own money through shortsighted tax-cutting. – Yours, etc,