Anti-austerity march support urged
Households struggling to survive on the brink of poverty have been urged to support a mass anti-austerity march later this month.
Public and private sector workers hit with pay cuts are also urged to get out on the streets of Dublin on November 24 and send a clear message to Government ahead of the budget.
Michael O'Reilly, President of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU), warned austerity has been an economic failure and a social catastrophe, leaving a million people in deprivation, 300,000 unemployed, and more underemployed.
"Domestic demand has collapsed, and each week sees more businesses closing," said Mr O'Reilly.
"Yet, on December 5, the Government is set to introduce the sixth austerity budget since the onset of the crisis.
"We need to stop trying to cut our way out of this crisis, and instead invest and grow our way out."
Siptu trade union - backed by Unite, Mandate and the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) - will lead the march, which is expected to attract 10,000 protesters.
Union leaders argued austerity has caused consumer demand to fall through the floorboards and demanded that the coalition invests in a stimulus package, remove the banking debt from the State books, and strike a deal with personal debt, particularly mortgage indebtedness.
Jimmy Kelly, regional secretary with Unite, said Irish people see how austerity is not working in their workplaces, on the dole queues, in their homes and communities, on the hospital wards and around the school classrooms.
"It is the Irish people who are being forced to pay for the crisis caused by bankers, bondholders and successive Governments," he said.