MAJOR NEW PAMPHLET – “CUTS MYTHS DEBUNKED”
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions launched its campaign to prevent the UK government’s planned cuts in public spending which will devastate the private and public sectors in Northern Ireland. The first of a series of pamphlets, leaflets and reports outlining the threat of these unnecessary cuts and the need for an alternative strategy was launched this morning in Belfast.
The Northern Ireland Committee of the ICTU are publishing 30,000 copies of a major new publication entitled “Cuts Myths Debunked.” This will be distributed by the 36 trade unions affiliated to the ICTU, as well as by Trades Councils, community organisations and by street stalls.
“Cuts Myths Debunked” can be downloaded from the new ICTU campaigning website: http://www.ictupeoplejobsandservices.org
The comprehensively researched and easily readable report tackles the various myths about the necessity to tackle the deficit in the lifetime of this parliament. The report clearly argues that:
Government debt (70%) is not at record levels – it was 250% when they built the NHS
The debt is manageable – the UK has 12 years to pay off its debts, longer than most advanced states, including the US
UK’s debt is lower than the Eurozone, Germany, Japan and the US
Public spending is lower than comparable EU states
State economy is not same as household budgets
UK Public sector not big compared with OECD states
Health costs are half those of the US
Huge growth in inequalities since 1980.
Top 10% have 100 times the spending power of bottom 10%
Public sector is not too big, private sector is too small
Private sector wages are low, not public sector too high
Public spending maintains demand
There are real alternatives to cuts.
Fairer taxes, all collected, not evaded or avoided
Green New Deal and other investments
The 20-page booklet is the first of a series of publications the trade unions are putting out over the next few weeks, ahead of the ETUC Day of Action across the EU on September 29th and the Belfast rally we are also organising on October 23rd (three days after the Comprehensive Spending Review).
Speaking at the Launch, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Peter Bunting said: ““The strategy being pursued by the UK government will certainly make things worse. They will wreak havoc across Northern Ireland. The private sector is especially vulnerable. Our analysis shows that cuts in government expenditure – both day-to-day and capital investment in roads and schools – will result in thousands of lost jobs from private firms which provide goods and services to Stormont and local councils.
“It is also clear that, even after all the years of planned pain, once these services and jobs are removed, they will never come back. This strategy is about the permanent removal of essential jobs and services. It is about the dismantling of the welfare state, the NHS and other quality services and assets. It is about shifting the burden of the economic crisis from the wealthiest onto all workers and the poorest in our society.
“In this light, Congress views with concern, the infighting within various sectors, as to who deserves cuts and who is undeserving. This illustrates our analysis that such a strategy will lead to the complete breakdown of social cohesion and solidarity.
“We really are all in this together, and if we stand together, we can turn this immoral strategy on its head.
This event is part of a major campaign which is committed to building mass public support for an alternative to the unnecessary cuts being planned by the UK government.
Specifically, the NIC-ICTU is preparing for rallies on:
· Belfast & L’Derry, Wednesday 29th September (part of the ETUC’s day of action across the EU)
· Belfast, Saturday 23rd October (part of a series of UK events, three days after the UK government’s Comprehensive Spending Review announcement on 20th October)
Peter Bunting added: “An alternative strategy to the current economic difficulties is essential and the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is presently engaged in consultations across all sectors of our society and economy and NIC-ICTU will be announcing details of it’s alternatives to these unnecessary cuts shortly.”