The latest ESRI Quarterly Report makes frightening reading. It claims that Ireland is entering a depression that is worse than any industrialised country experienced since the 1930s.
The economy is due to shrink by 9.2 percent – which is of the same magnitude as the US experienced after the Wall St Crash of 1929.
Unemployment is set to rise so that almost one in five workers will be without a job.
In its Quarterly Report of last Winter, the ESRI predicted that the economy would shrink by 4.1 percent – just half of their current prediction.
The obvious question is: why is the prognosis getting worse? Why is the Irish economy going down much faster than any mainstream economist thought?
The ESRI cannot answer this question because it is locked into the conventional wisdom of the Irish economic establishment.
It concludes its report by advocating more wage cuts and more cuts in public spending to make Ireland ‘competitive’.
But it is precisely the wage cuts which have made the recession deeper.
Richard Boyd Barrett and Hugh Lewis of the People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) recently held a public meeting in Dun Laoghaire to set up a Community and Unemployment Action Group in the area.
Hugh Lewis (Ballybrack PBPA)
Richard Boyd Barrett (Dun Laoghaire PBPA)
PBPA have been leafleting estates and the lengthening doles queues in Dun Laoghaire are calling on all those affected by or angry about spiralling unemployment to attend the meeting and get involved in establishing a group to campaign for action on the jobs crisis.
PBPA also believe that the savage cutbacks in social welfare in the recent budget, such as the scrapping of the Christmas bonus and cuts in rent allowance, make the setting up of organisations to protect the unemployed a priority.
PBPA believe that the Council should establish direct labour units to give jobs to the unemployed doing important work in the community, such as, repairing boarded up council houses, upgrading schools and hospitals and providing local amenities and community services.
The wishes of the public for the future of Dun Laoghaire Baths were dealt a major blow at a specially convened council meeting on Wednesday 1st April to discuss the new Dun Laoghaire County Development Plan.
At the meeting the County Manager included a Special Local Objective “SLO” for the provision of an East Pier to Sandycove Enhancement Scheme in his draft written statement. Councillors had the option of accepting, amending or rejecting this objective.
The Manager’s objective came despite the fact that the enhancement scheme was roundly rejected by the public following a series of street marches, public meetings and hundreds of public submissions.
Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance, Cllr Gene Feighery, and Bob Waddell of the Sandycove Baths Action Group, were united in their condemnation of the recent decision taken by Councillors to ignore public opinion on Dun Laoghaire Baths in favour of the County Manager’s objective.
At the meeting Cllr. Feighery put forward a motion rejecting the Manager’s special local objective and requesting Councillors to support her in replacing it with the following motion which she believes reflects the democratic will of the people with whom she marched.
Cllr. Feighery’s motion read:
That Development of Dun Laoghaire Baths will retain the existing building with a modest extension to accommodate proposed public amenities/facilities which includes swimming facilities, and which does not include high rise or residential development. That infill development is minimised to provide adequate sea defences and that the scale of any upgrading and renewal project is limited to the area between the East Pier and the Baths.
Unfortunately, she only found support in four of her fellow councillors and the motion fell.
The accusation made by Aodhan O Riordain that the Anti-Budget protest by People Before Profit Alliance and others from the community in the North Inner City outside Cyprian Brady’s clinic intimidated constituents from consulting their local representative is ridiculous.
Speaking after the protest People Before Profit candidate in the North Inner City Colm Stephens said "If Cllr. O Riordain had bothered to turn up he would have seen that we actively encouraged people to go into the clinic and make their views known."
DUN Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is ignoring public opinion following the recent adoption of its original proposals for a coastal enhancement scheme as an objective of the county development plan.
In February 2008, the council announced two different concepts for the development of the East Pier to Sandycove Enhancement Scheme, which includes the Dún Laoghaire Baths site.
The proposals drawn up on behalf of the council by consultants estimated the cost of Concept A at €129m and Concept B at €92m. The local authority has since revealed that it spent over €200,000 paying the consultants to design the plans.
Residents right across the North Side of Dublin who will have noticed a massive deterioration in the service for collection of recycling, both green bins and bags have been hit again as green bins collection was missed again this morning.
These problems have developed since the lucrative contract was awarded to Greyhound Recycling which took over from Oxigen at the beginning of the year. Numerous collections have been missed, green bags have not been delivered, incorrect collection dates have been posted on the website and collection calendars have not been distributed.
In the past 2 days, Bus Workers at two depots at Clontarf and Harristown took unofficial action which led to the cancellation of 29 routes, in a row dispute over bus cuts.
This morning 27th April 2009, the 206 bus was cut completly as a service in Ballyfermot. This route services an area with an aging population which also houses a population of at least 60 elderly people in Rossaveal Court. People Before Profit in Ballyfermot started at the beginning of February to campaign to save the service.
This morning 27th April 2009, the 206 bus was cut completly as a service in Ballyfermot. This route services an area with an aging population which also houses a population of at least 60 elderly people in Rossaveal Court. People Before Profit in Ballyfermot started at the beginning of February to campaign to save the service. We secured the support of thousands of local people who signed petitions. We held a very significant public meeting, supported by all the local councillors. We lobbied the local Fianna Fail TD and organised roadside protests in Ballyfermot. We also had the support of pensioners committees and the local bus committtee.