We’re paying heavy price for capitalism

In Jun 2010 the Government negotiated the Croke Park Agreement with the public sector trade unions.

Both sides agreed to hold the maxima of wage scales constant until 2014. No attempt was made to control consumer prices.

The latest CSO figures show that prices have increased by 5% overall from Jun 2010 to Aug 2012. In the same period, the price of petrol at the pumps has gone up by 25%.

In the absence of up-to-date CER data, I reckon that nearly 39,000 electricity meters were disconnected in that timespan. I estimate that it affected over 105,000 people. Now we face a winter of higher prices for piped gas. We will have to pay exorbitant property tax and septic tank charges. Public servants have already accepted pay cuts, not once, but twice.

The cumulative effect of the austerity policy is to erode any money people have left over to spend or to save. The last straw pushes some families beyond the breadline.

We cannot allow the greed of godless capitalism to go any further. If the government want to revisit the agreement they made, they will have to freeze prices. That would change the economic game for the greater good. Cut profits, not wages.

Michael Mernagh



Co Cork

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