I do not have an economic background so I do not approach this from that angle but from the point of view of the ordinary person, who is appalled and disgusted by what they see happening here. It appears there is a bottomless pit of money and guarantees when it comes to banks but when it comes to the needs and lives of Irish people, they are told they must accept the cuts and make the sacrifices, that it is acceptable to lose their homes and jobs, that it is acceptable to lose special needs assistants, and that communities must accept that they will lose those supports that have made such a difference.
The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs attended an exhibition in Liberty Hall that was organised by the north inner city drugs task-force, featuring number of projects from groups in the north inner city that work with marginalized and vulnerable people, those in addiction, people from minority groups and those working with those at risk of suicide and other high risk cases. He saw the tremendous work being done by those projects on shoestring budgets. They have been cut already and must now accept further cuts.
At the meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs we were reminded of the increases of the numbers of people living in hunger and poverty. A fraction of what is going to the banks would make a huge difference in the areas I have mentioned.
What do we get for this money being diverted to banks? It will not create jobs or pay for our children’s education, it will not provide health or social services. The way we treat the vulnerable and marginalized is a mark of a civilized society but I do not see too many marks of civilization in this country. It is unbelievable that we must accept pure financial fiction and economic treason.