The report from An Bord Snip Nua is an agenda for a huge attack on the poor and public services. It was drawn up by a cabal of neoliberals and was biased from the very start. It was chaired by Colm McCarthy, a right-wing economist. The other members of the board include: Pat McLoughlin, a former deputy CEO for the HSE; Maurice O'Connell, a former governor of the Central Bank; Mary Walsh, a partner in accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCooper; William Slattery, the managing director of State Street International, which specialises in administering hedge funds.

There was never any prospect that they were going to demand swingeing cuts for those on top salaries. Their target was always the poor and public-sector workers.

The report uses the guise of an objective examination of public spending to produce an agenda of attacks on the poor. The €5bn cuts package can only deepen the recession.

As an alternative to these cuts People Before Profit proposes that we could refuse to bail out the banks and amalgamate them into one publicly-owned bank. We could close all tax loopholes to the rich, tax all earnings over €100,000 at 70% and bring our natural resources into public ownership.

Trade union members need urgently to organise. To fight back effectively, we need to take back our unions from a bureaucracy that has now entered a deep level of collaboration with this terrible government. Instead we need the values of solidarity, fighting working-class organisations and real democracy.

Kieran McNulty,

People before Profit,

Lios Rua,


Co Kerry