Dublin concerns about ambulance services.
Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that cuts to ambulance services in Dublin city, county and its hinterland “will inevitably put lives at risk and lead to longer response times from a vastly reduced service”.
He made the comments after he was told that on Tuesday the Tallaght area was to be short of an ambulance at Airton Road between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
Dublin Mater Hospital
Concerns over infection risk as Mater tells staff: ‘Wash your own scrubs’
MEDICAL STAFF in the emergency department at the Mater hospital have been told to buy and clean their own ‘scrubs’ as part of hospital spending cutbacks – a move some staff fear poses a major infection risk.
Dublin St Michael’s
208 adults with an intellectual disability live with parents aged 70 or over in Dublin, writes PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent
THE BIGGEST provider of services for the intellectually disabled in Dublin has warned of “devastating implications” for families of any further cuts in December’s budget.
St Michael’s House says it is deeply concerned about the prospect of a fifth year of cuts as part of continuing austerity next year.
The organisation has launched a campaign to get the Government to consider the impact of cuts next year before imposing a fifth successive yearly reduction in its budget.
PEOPLE IN WEST Cork angry over the loss of their fourth ambulance are to push a stretcher bed from Skibbereen to Cork University Hospital in protest later this week.
The four-day long protest will take place from 17 – 20 October (Wednesday – Saturday) and will involve a group of relay teams taking it in turns to push the bed.
Laois T.D. Sean Fleming has absolutely no regrets over his decision to storm out of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 9, where he labelled health officials as “a disgrace and not fit for office.”
Speaking to the Leinster Express Deputy Fleming fumed that it was “outrageous” for the Department of Health Secretary General Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin and new H.S.E. Chief Executive Tony O’Brien to attempt to “stonewall the P.A.C. and the people of Ireland” by refusing to answer questions on their 2012 budget overspend.
A public protest against the closure of an operating theater at Wexford General Hospital was held outside the hospital last Saturday afternoon.
Councilor Anthony Kelly of Sinn Fein is calling on Wexford’s Oireachtas members to come out immediately and call for this decision to be reversed.
IN THE 2011 Programme for Government, the Labour Party and Fine Gael say additional funding will be provided each year for the care of older people.
“This funding will go to more residential places, more home-care packages and the delivery of more home help and other professional community care services
The statement today by the minister for finance, Michael Noonan, calling on the European Central Bank to make a “declaration of intent” about some kind of solution in relation to the Anglo-Irish Bank promissory notes is a clear sign of desperation by a government that has neither the political will nor the courage to challenge this illegitimate and odious anti-people debt dumped on the backs of our people.
The Irish establishment has been claiming almost every time they come back from these jamborees that they have struck a deal; but no sooner have they their backsides back in their Mercs than their “deal” unravels.
This is the first time that any Irish minister has publicly admitted that there is strong link between the government’s budget strategy and the repayments of this odious debt. This he did when he stated: “It would help me doing the budgetary arithmetic if something could be arranged” in relation to the promissory notes.
The sick, the poor, pensioners, those who need and use government services and all working people are paying and will increasingly pay an unbearable price for a debt that is not the people’s. Our people are being crucified to pay the debts of bankers and speculators and to keep the EU and Irish elite in the wealthy life-style they believe is theirs by right.
There is no shortage of capital in Europe: it is estimated that nearly €3 trillion is accumulated within the EU that cannot be invested do to the fact that there are to few investment opportunities outside of financial speculation. All this unused capital is in the hands of the very same banks and speculators that demand the payment of this odious debt.
How can the Labour Party stand over massive cuts in spending while making the people pay for this corporate debt. �What we need from this government is a declaration of intent to stop paying this debt, to repudiate it as an anti-democratic imposition on our people by the external troika in co-operation with our own internal troika.
The Nevin Economic Research Institute, ICTU’s think-tank, has looked into the budgetary future and finds there is a better way of doing things. They have utilised all the tools of economic analysis to show that, what they call Plan B, is a far better way of doing business than what the Government intends. Their budgetary proposals would remove the need for cuts in public services and social protection, increase investment, and keep more people at work than under the Government’s plans – and all this while maintaining the same pace of deficit reduction. It doesn’t make grandiose claims (billions in soaking the rich, hundreds of thousands more at work, etc.). It merely shows that there is an alternative that is better. This is an analysis and a programme that all progressives – in civil society, trade unions, political parties (including the Labour Party) – can rally around, while providing that commodity we need the most – hope.
‘The HERMIN model uses macro-economic data to allow researchers to bring together different production sectors of the economy in a complex model that relates producer, consumer, investor and labour market behaviour to external developments in trade, prices and currency movements.’
I’m not suggesting that NERI’s modelling is superior to any other, or that we should become seduced by models (all the models in the world didn’t foresee the recession in the first place). However, it shows that NERI’s programme is not a wish list or some back-of-the-envelope job. It is a serious piece of work that deserves the same consideration as other programmes and analysis.
So what are they suggesting? Namely, that the Government’s fiscal adjustments should be turned on its head.
The Government proposes that spending cuts make up 64 percent of the total fiscal adjustments. NERI proposes that tax increases make up 85 percent of the total adjustments.
The Government intends to cut public investment by €550 million. NERI proposes to reverse this cut and add an additional €500 million. Under NERI, there will be €1 billion more investment flowing into the economy, increasing its capacity to grow and putting people back to work.
The Government intends a fiscal adjustment of €3.5 billion. But because the tax and investment dynamic produces a better outcome, NERI proposes a fiscal adjustment package of €2.7 billion.
So what are the results
Under NERI’s Plan B, GDP rises by more than €2 billion above the Government’s projection. There will be 21,000 more people at work under NERI’s proposals. And the deficit will be the same. That’s the effect of a progressive, investment-based, pro-growth economic strategy.
What’s particularly interesting – and here I’m working on my own calculations, so any mistake is mine, not NERI’s – is that not only are most budget cuts removed, the end effect of NER’s strategy is that we would be able to spend more on public services and social protection. This is defined by what is called the ‘primary current budget’. This refers to the current budget (spending on public services, social protection, wages, etc. – excluding the capital budget) minus interest payments. I have used investment as a substitute for the capital budget.
Not only is primary current spending higher under the NERI programme than the Government’s in 2013 (€1.3 billion higher), it is slightly higher than this year and almost returns us to 2011 levels.
This opens up the scope for further increases in spending on public services and social protection by re-directing spending within the current budget – savings on public service efficiencies, removal of regressive spending, and reduced unemployment costs.
NERI proposes a menu of progressive tax measures that could be introduced which would spare low and average income earners and, therefore, would limit the damage to the domestic economy. I just want to draw attention to three measures under corporation tax:
- End the manipulation of carrying forward of losses – NERI claims these are of dubious economic impact and regressive
- Abolish/Reform the treatment of undistributed reserves where by company directors can manipulate the system to drawdown tax-free lump sums of hundreds of thousands of Euros on retirement.
- Reform interest deductions – by imposing a limit on interest paid by companies as a percentage of a company’s assets. This would prevent public subsidisation of speculative debt.
These innovative measures wouldn’t impact on the corporate tax rate (though the Government has claimed everything is on the table, the corporate tax is not – in fact, its’ not even let into the dining room) but it would remove inequitable tax avoidance.
NERI has presented us an authoritative template upon which can rally the broadest possible coalition against failed austerity policies. That doesn’t mean progressives will agree with everything contained in the latest Quarterly Observer. I have a few quibbles with details. But you don’t build coalitions around details, you build them around principles. NERI’s principles of investment and tax-driven fiscal adjustments have been shown to work.
Not a bad day’s work.
via Notes On The Front.
via Notes On The Front.
PUBLIC Spending Minister Brendan Howlin is backing down on his threat to cut some of the €1.5bn worth of allowances paid to public servants as the Coalition squabbles over health cuts.
The development comes as tensions simmered within the Coalition over Health Minister Dr James Reilly‘s €130m worth of health service cuts.
But there is not expected to be any climbdown on the package of health cuts, including reductions in home help and elderly care, despite the protests of Labour Party backbenchers.
The cuts will be discussed by ministers at the Cabinet’s first meeting after the summer break today.
Dr Reilly will still face a motion of no confidence when the Dail returns.
Mr Howlin has climbed down substantially on cuts to allowances, some of which he admits are “historic”.