Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Alliance opposes government cuts

(Left to right) Richard Boyd Barrett, Joe Higgens and Seamus Healy during the launch of the new United Left Alliance
(Left to right) Joan Collins, Richard Boyd Barrett, Joe Higgens and Seamus Healy during the launch of the new United Left Alliance campaign to bring together groups opposed to the 15 billion Euro austerity plan in Dublin

A new alliance of political parties has vowed to launch a campaign of sustained resistance against Government bailouts and policies.

Fronted by MEP Joe Higgins, the newly-formed United Left Alliance (ULA) plans to field up to 20 candidates in the General Election who oppose the 15 billion euro austerity plan.

The group involves the People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Party and the South Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group. Former Labour TD Declan Bree will run in the Sligo-North Leitrim constituency.

Mr Higgins said the Government's four-year plan was an attack on the poor and working class who should not have to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy, and he maintained the ULA was an alternative to Government or a Labour and Fine Gael coalition, propped up by Sinn Fein.

"The presence of a number of genuine left TDs in the Dail offering a visible political alternative will be a massive pole of attraction to workers, unemployed and young people and can become a real factor in the unfolding crisis," said the Independent Socialist, who will attempt to reclaim his Dublin West seat.

Councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said the alliance would reject the Government's plan and stand up to the International Monetary Fund and European Union. The Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown representative also called for a 24-hour general strike.

He said: "We need to grind this country to a halt until the Government is forced from office and until we get a chance to debate, in a democratic way, the alternative options that are available for dealing with the current situation.

"It's not acceptable that we should be tied in to a brutal austerity package, a budget and a plan for four years, which is going to attack the poor and vulnerable in society without at least having an election to decide what options are available."

Meanwhile, the Independents Movement of Ireland (IMI) launched a new initiative to encourage Irish citizens in all constituencies to run as Independent candidates and to vote for Independent candidates.

"An Independent Government is the only real alternative to a Fine Gael/Labour coalition Government that is currently available to the Irish people," it added.

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