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Social Justice Ireland briefs European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee

  • The austerity approach followed by the Troika in Ireland and other bailout countries had an unsound academic basis, was a failure in practice, and was morally unethical because poor and middle-income people have borne an unfair share of its consequences. 
  • While taking a draconian approach to public finances the European Commission has failed to introduce sufficiently rigorous regulation of the financial sector.
  • All future Troika Bailout programmes should be bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Treaties.

The austerity approach followed by the Troika in Ireland and other bailout countries has an unsound academic basis, is a failure in practice, and is morally unethical because poor and middle-income people have borne an unfair share of its consequences according to Social Justice Ireland's briefing presented to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Committee in Dublin on January 17, 2014. today. 

Social Justice Ireland pointed out that the poorest 10% of the population lost 18.4% of real disposable income compared to an 11.4% loss among the richest 10% since the crash of 2008.

In the course of a wide-ranging presentation which the Committee sought from Social Justice Ireland it was pointed out that while taking a draconian approach to public finances the European Commission has failed to introduce sufficiently rigorous regulation of the financial sector.

Social Justice Ireland met the Troika regularly over the past three years. They also produced the first ever study of the impact of austerity in the five countries most at risk in the EU (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Italy) which was done in conjunction with local Caritas organisations in those countries and published by Caritas Europa in February 2013.

In its 22-page Briefing provided to the Committee members Social Justice Ireland challenges the analysis on which key Troika decisions were made and provides details on how the Troika’s selective use of data led to inaccurate analysis which, in turn, led to inappropriate policy decisions. This happened in areas such as poverty, unemployment, replacement ratios and on the distribution of the ‘hits’ imposed in the bailout process.

The Full Document can be accessed here