Monday, February 25, 2013

An Open Letter to Labour TDs

I gave the Labour party my first preference vote at the last election in the mistaken belief that it represented working people. Since taking office, your government has escalated and intensified a vicious austerity programme on the nation; transferred more debts of private banks and speculators onto the shoulders of individuals and households; caused unemployment and emigration to soar; further and dangerously exacerbated divisions in our society; and demonised, victimised and scapegoated public servants above all other groups. Now, using the threat of unjust legislation, your government is about to impose further savage wage cuts on public sector workers, which will bring many to or over the brink of financial ruin and, I have no doubt, as a result of which some will succumb to suicide.

As a so-called “higher paid” public servant (though gross salary bears no relation to net salary), I should have reasonable expectations of an ability to service the debts and outgoings I legitimately incurred throughout my career based on my earnings. These latest cuts will have a devastating impact on my life and on my family. Thanks to your government, the mortgage on my home will now go further into arrears, a situation I was never in before in my life. Effectively, the debts of bankers and speculators will have been transferred to my mortgage account.

As it is, adding all taxes and levies together, I already pay 50% tax on every cent I earn. Add in VAT; car tax; petrol duty; NCT costs; carbon taxes; TV license (are we allowed have a TV in Noonan’s bleak house?); excise duties; insurance levies; and all the other charges your government is imposing and I am probably giving over 80% of every cent I earn to the state.

On top of all that, you have already or are about to introduce septic tank charges; water charges; property taxes; increased healthcare costs; punitive and disproportionate systems of fines; and scurrilous invasions of personal privacy by threatening to raid people’s bank accounts and pay packets to forcibly steal the property tax. So, in total, this will probably bring the amount your government is stealing from me to about 90% of everything I earn. This is simply unjust and unsustainable for individuals.

Where do you honestly think that I and thousands like me will get the cash to pay these exorbitant taxes while suffering further pay cuts? When will I have given enough? I have nothing left to give, since you have already taken almost everything from me. There is no more discretionary spending I can cut (although it seems Michael Noonan will not be satisfied until every household in Ireland is in darkness and we all wear sack cloth).

And, in sinister Orwellian fashion, you are mining and collating personal data for purposes for which it was never given and using geo directory technology to spy on the nation’s citizens. A fascist government would hardly dare to be so brazen in the treatment of its citizens. But I suppose such actions come easily to your government partners, the Fine Gael blueshirts.

I have had enough. If I were younger, I would join the tens of thousands who have already emigrated and wipe the dust of this country from my feet, never to return. However, because of my age I will probably have to stay in this most unjust and callous of nations – a country that embraced austerity with a vengeance and that is ensuring, through your government, that every last drop of blood is sucked from the people to pay debts unjustly placed on their backs.

Your government rules this nation in spite of the people, not for them. The bond of trust that should exist between state and citizen and between employer and employee has been broken. You have destroyed the fabric of our society in your zealous pursuit of austerity. Howlin sometimes looks and sounds like he can barely contain his pride and joy at the devastation he is causing to decent people and to loyal workers. He and his colleagues in government make “hard choices” for which we, the people, have to pay the price.

You broke your election promises to a degree probably never witnessed before in the history of the state and you have no mandate for your current policies and actions. If Labour had any ounce of morality and decency left, it would walk away from this discredited government now and give the people the opportunity to pass judgement on the reign of austerity and economic terror that is being visited unjustly on this nation by you and your Fine Gael partners.

However, our day will come and the Labour Party will be decimated at the next election, which cannot come soon enough for me.