The recently published report on austerity by Oxfam confirms what the Communist Party of Ireland has been saying for the last number of years, stated Eugene McCartan, responding to the report’s findings. He went on to say that “Irish communists have been one of the few voices arguing that austerity is working as planned and designed.”
The report points to the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, with inequality in this state four times the average in OECD countries. The report further found that one in ten households in the EU now lives in poverty.
The CPI also stated that the external troika and the internal troika (the state-establishment political parties and employers) are using the crisis to drive down workers’ wages and conditions, to turn Ireland—but not only Ireland—into a zone of precarious employment in a low-wage economy. Much of the liberal left and trade union leadership swallowed the ruse of the EU about “flexicurity” in relation to workers’ rights and jobs when in reality it is “dependent insecurity” that is on offer.
The central problem is that they do not view austerity from a class viewpoint and the economic imperatives of the system. You can only
understand austerity, what its role and function are, by understanding class, and that is what is crucially missing from the analysis by Oxfam and others.
Austerity was not designed to help working people but is consciously pursued to undermine and attack workers. It is for establishing new layers of inequality.
Austerity has always been for transferring wealth from workers to bosses, further compounded by the fact that there is a continuous transfer of wealth out of the country to pay for a debt that does not belong to the people. We will be paying nearly €9 billion per annum servicing this debt, which can only grow.
The internal and external troikas have given priority to debt repayment over the needs and interests of the Irish people. This also applies to the other heavily indebted peripheral states of the EU.
Austerity is working as planned.