NUJ joins Europe anti-cuts rally
29 September 2010
Members of the NUJ today took part in today's Dublin rally, held as part of the European Trade Union Confederation Day of Action against austerity measures. Organised by the ICTU, the rally coincided with the new parliamentary session following a prolonged summer recess. The NUJ contingent was led by Gerry Curran, Leas Cathaoirleach of the IEC, and Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary.
Postal workers delivered a message to the parliamentarians – a postcard designed by NUJ freelance member Tom Halliday, depicting senior government ministers returning from their holidays. It contained a stark reminder of the economic devastation that has struck Ireland this year: "445000 out of work" along with another stark fact: €25 billion for banks (and rising).
1,500 people took part in the rally outside Dáil Eireann. Marchers gathered at the headquarters of the Anglo Irish Bank in St Stephen's Green before marching to Leinster House. Members of the Congress Youth committee led the march and the theme of youth unemployment was to the fore.
David Begg, ICTU general secretary, said the Government's economic recovery strategy was "too austere and was killing any potential for growth." He said Congress had been making this argument for the past two years and the position was being vindicated and supported by the international press.
ICTU said argued that, as an alternative strategy, the Government should shift focus to revenue forces that would not take vast sums of money out of the economy. It called for new temporary progressive tax measures on capital and wealth and it also called for an injection into the economy from off balance sheet sources.
It said this could include using a portion of money in the National Pension Reserve Fund to provide equity for new enterprises and to protect existing businesses.