Never in history has there been so much wealth, yet never has there been such poverty .
The richest 5 people on our planet have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50%. A year later study concluded that it was down to just six people!
That rapid rise of inequality is seen in Ireland too. Ten years after the start of the capitalist crisis, the richest 300 people have doubled their personal wealth and corporations have tripled their profits, while the rest are working harder, with fewer rights, for less money, with creaking public services and facing the nightmare of a housing crisis.
Inequality is not accidental – it is a result of a rigged system
The austerity policies over the last decade were designed not to create a recovery for the majority, but to transfer wealth upwards at an unprecedented speed. Far from ‘trickling down’ wealth has been sucked up by the 1%.
This flow from the capitalist profit system – where wealth and resources are owned by a tiny group of people and run for private profit. The establishment parties represent this super rich 1%, and implement policies to benefit them. So while the government refuse to invest in building the housing we need, they also fight to defend Apple’s ‘right’ not to pay over €13 billion in taxed owed to people in this country.
End the rule of the 1%
Halting and reversing the growing inequality means a radical break with neo-liberal policies and the capitalist system which puts profit first.
Solidarity campaigns to end Ireland’s status as a tax haven – ending the deliberate ‘loopholes’ for vulture funds and financial vehicles, introducing a Financial Transactions Tax and using the over €13 billion owed by Apple to invest in housing, public services and sustainable growth.
We also campaign for tax justice, abolishing indirect taxes like property tax, and increasing corporation tax, increasing income tax on high earners and introducing a new ‘Millionaire’s Tax’ on net personal wealth in excess of €1 million.
Instead of relying on attracting multinationals with tax cuts and low wages, a socialist economic development policy is needed. That means investing in a rapid transition to renewable energy and public ownership under democratic control of the key sections of the economy and sources of wealth. In that way, we could build a society and economy that is equitable, just and sustainable.