'There is a better way than cuts'

Slí Eile05/11/2009

Slí Eile: In the interest of balance and with due regard for many economists, it is necessary to point out that not all economists believe that we must cut our way out of the Great Irish Recession. Dissent comes from Professor Ray Kinsella, reported from the annual Céifin conference in yesterday's Irish Times as follows:

"Ray Kinsella, professor of banking and financial services at UCD, said he rejected the idea that cuts were the way forward in healthcare. “It’s certainly leading to extraordinary incidents of psychosocial stress,” he said. Many people taking their own lives in recent times had no record of psychiatric illness but they were desperate and could find no way out.He said he wanted to challenge the orthodoxy that cuts were the only solution: “There is a better way than cuts.” Prof Kinsella said we were unable to get out of this crisis because our existing political framework was obsolete and incapable of reform; our banking system was “malign”; and we could not build a new economic order on a failed political paralysis."

While one may not concur with every pronouncement by the said Professor, the Award for Honest Straight Talking must be given. With the battle lines clearly drawn - OECD economists prescribe cuts in social welfare for the unemployed, old and sick in Ireland and reductions in the minimum wage - unions, community organisations and parties of the left must stand together to defend the poor, the low-paid and those excluded from decision-making.
Tomorrow, Friday 6th November, is an opportunity to begin a fight-back. But, we also need a solid intellectual counter-position backed by detailed analysis and facts and not just slogans. The ICTU Ten point plan is a good start.

Posted in: Fiscal policyHealthFiscal policy

Tagged with: healthcarefiscal consolidationoecd


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