· Silence on ‘Macroeconomic conditionality’ must be broken
· Parliament leaders will only be held to their promise by mass pressure
Responding to today’s talks between the Presidency, Commission and the President of the European Parliament, Paul Murphy MEP stated:
“While the Irish government no doubt wish to focus on the youth guarantee scheme, the reality is that this is an austerity budget and one the Irish government and Eammon Gilmore in particular are prepared to put their ‘energy and political capital’ into ensuring is passed.
“The focus on Youth Guarantee by the government, clearly reflect an unwillingness to discuss the key issue of budget and the tensions around it. It would be extremely unlikely for the meeting of the Council for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs to have gone against the decision previously agreed at the February EU summit. What is needed a real discussion to deal with the crisis of youth unemployment. As I have stated previously and on the campaigning website scambridge.ie, I think JobBridge cannot be held up as positive example when it achieves little but using young people as cheap labour for big business.”
“The Budget agreed will mean serious cuts to programs that can create the basis for growth and jobs. It is interesting that Gilmore describes the budget as being “EU’s toolkit to help growth and jobs” when the budget will actually place many projects and jobs at serious risk.
“The silence from the government on the question of ‘Macroeconomic conditionality’ must be broken. The government boasts of Ireland maintaining structural cohesion funds. But ‘Macroeconomic conditionality’ would mean Ireland can very easily be cut off from this funding if the Commission deems it has not done enough to reduce the deficit.
“The process of negotiations underway is to allow the leaders in the main political groups in European parliament room to manoeuvre in terms of accepting a budget that is barely changed. Like with the programs austerity been implemented by governments at national level this budget must be resisted by building a co-ordinated movement against austerity across Europe.