Plan B Press Release September 26th 2012

Stagnant growth figures show alternative Budget strategy required

‘Last week’s stagnant growth figures show once more that an alternative approach to Budget 2013 is required in order to put Ireland on the right path’ said Rory Hearne of Claiming Our Future. ‘Stimulating economic growth, creating employment and protecting essential public services must be our government’s priority’ he went on to say. ‘Instead the debate about Budget 2013 is dominated by claims that there are no real credible alternatives to the enormous cuts in public spending and regressive taxes that will further depress the economy.’

Claiming Our Future has identified an alternative macro-economic framework ‘Plan B ‘and is campaigning for the Plan to be included in Budget 2013. Plan B outlines alternative policies which, if implemented, would deliver much greater employment, economic growth, and protect public services and the most vulnerable while achieving our deficit reduction targets.

Plan B is based on a combination of:

1. A state investment stimulus to create public and private sector economic activity, growth and employment (this would reduce the deficit by providing additional tax revenue and reducing welfare spending).

2. Raising revenue from making the taxation system more effective and fair, including taxing wealth

3. Maintain essential public spending on public services, the vulnerable and their communities. This will support domestic demand, central to getting us out of the recession, by protecting low and middle income earners and communities. Social investment will save social costs and create a more sustainable future.

Mr Hearne stated ‘this government has real choices. One of the biggest choices they have is the balance of expenditure cuts and tax it implements. We recognise that they are committed to meeting the deficit reduction targets set by the Troika. However the way this is achieved is crucial. Placing the burden on those who have the least should not be an option for them.

An example of an alternative policy choice is the introduction of a wealth tax. Michael Noonan stated in the Dail in June 2011 that a 1.5% tax on households with net financial assets above €2.3 million and having incomes above €100,000 per annum would raise between €400 t0 €500 million per annum. The fact is that in 2011 the top 10,000 earners earned €5.959 billion between them, however they had an effective tax rate of only 29%.”

Other organisations and groups such as TASC, NERI, ICTU, Social Justice Ireland, and the Community Platform will also be coming out with progressive budget proposals that show there are alternatives.

Austerity is self defeating in a recession like our current one. Cutting spending on welfare, public services and the wages of public sector workers and raising taxes on lower and middle income households takes further money out of the economy. Austerity further domestic demand and growth and puts more people out of work leading to higher spending on welfare. We are in a vicious downward spiral that requires an alternative policy approach he concluded.

For Further information contact:

Rory Hearne, Claiming Our Future,

Siobhan O Donoghue, Claiming Our Future,

Claiming Our Future’s Plan B

Austerity isn’t working. Taking billions of Euros out of our economy
each year increases emigration and unemployment as public services are
cut to the bone. Simply put, we cannot cut our way out of recession.

Ireland needs a Plan B. Investment programmes in areas such as high
speed broadband and renewable energy will create jobs, grow the
economy and protect public services. Private and public funds in
Ireland and Europe, together with a fairer tax system, will raise the
money needed.

By supporting Claiming Our Future’s “Plan B” Campaign you can help get
Ireland back working again, an Ireland based on the values of
equality, sustainability and solidarity.

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