Government Proposals to Deal with Economic Crisis Lack Fairness

News Release

Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

Jesuit priest and leading social campaigner, Fr Peter McVerry SJ, has claimed that the Government’s approach to dealing with the current economic crisis is marked by a lack of fairness and an unwillingness to ask the wealthy to contribute in proportion to their resources. In effect, he says, the poor can’t pay; those who can, aren’t being asked to.

Writing in the November 2009 issue of Working Notes, the journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Fr McVerry says that the approach being adopted reflects the reality that people who are poor or vulnerable have little or no influence on policy, and that those who make the decisions reflect the views and interests of the better-off sections of our society, of which they themselves are part.

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Expenses Controversy: Letter to the Editor in the Irish Times

Madam, – The Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, has said that the issue of Oireachtas expenses has to be put into perspective. Indeed it has.

Billions of people in our world live on the edge of destitution, thousands of children die each day from hunger, and many more die from lack of access to affordable medicines. – Yours, etc,

Fr PETER McVERRY SJ,

Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice,

Upper Sherrard Street,

Dublin 1.

© Irish Times, October 9 2009

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Deputy Eamon Gilmore speaking in the Dáil regarding NAMA

Deputy Gilmore says that NAMA is being put in place to protect the ‘toxic triangle of developers, bankers and bad government’, and claims that temporary nationalisation would provide less risk to the taxpayer. He refers to our latest policy paper, The Irish Housing System: Vision Values, Reality:

A recent study of the housing sector by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice provides a picture of how housing policy has developed under this Government. It notes, for example, that between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s, the price of housing in Ireland broadly tracked the cost of building a house. After the mid-1990s, however, there was a surge in the price of housing, which bore no relation to the cost of the relevant inputs. By 2007, house prices had risen by four times as much as building costs. The average price of a new house in Ireland increased by 344% between the mid-1990s to the peak of the bubble, rising from €73,000 to €323,000. In Dublin there was a 408% increase over the same period. Average second-hand house prices increased by 441%, and by 499% in Dublin. Needless to say, wages were not increasing by the same amounts. In fact, if new house prices had tracked the increase in earnings, that price of €323,000 in 2007 would only have been €124,000.

17 September, 2009

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Working Notes:Who Will Pay for the Recession?

Who Will Pay for the Reccession?

In a recent interview, the writer Iain Banks, expressing strong criticism of senior British politicians, said that they were ‘very good at standing up to the weak and poor, and utterly pathetic at standing up against the rich and powerful; they roll over every single time’ (The Guardian, 8 September 2009). As we in Ireland watch measures being unfolded to deal with the banking crisis and the deficit in the public finances, we too may have cause to wonder if our decision-makers, and those who influence them, favour an approach of being ‘strong with the weak’ and ‘weak with the strong’.

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Gerry O'Hanlon on Sunday Sequence

Gerry O'Hanlon SJ speaks about his book 'The Recession and God: Reading the signs of the times' on BBC's Sunday Sequence.

 

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Sunday Sequence, BBC Radio Foyle, 8:30am Sunday 19th April 2009


Presenter William Crawley and his guests debate the week's religious and ethical news.

For the full show, click here

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