[Marxism] Poverty in NE Ireland

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 25 03:45:58 MST 2004


The article posted by Phil Ferguson was very accurate. While economic 
benefits have largely accrued to the bourgeois class, workers continue 
to struggle across the island.

I just want to highlight the fact that the economic fundamentals from a 
(bourgeois) viewpoint in the Six Counties look very bad. R&D low, 
business creation rates at the lowest in the (so-called) UK, 
manufacturing contracting, growth of employment in low wage service 
sectors, to bring employment levels up to UK levels they will have to 
create 230,000 jobs by 2010 (that is not happening). [For those who note 
the apparent contradiction with our low unemployment and low employment 
rates - many are excluded from the 'active' workforce as they are 
long-term sick and many women don't work here]. FDI is flowing out if 
anything.

In the rest of Ireland, they are talking up potential of second period 
of Celtic Tiger but to support this in our now (above Eastern European 
rates anyhow) expensive labour market will have to accommodate large 
levels of inward migration to lower the wage level to attract the FDI. 
Retaining it is even problematic in the 26 Counties today. The only 
thing really propping up the 26 County economy is some income from 
Financial 'Services' coming out of Dublin and the massive growth coming 
out of the construction sector. Currently, at least 19% of all govt 
receipts in the 'Free' State comes from the construction industry. We 
are enduring a prolonged housing boom. This is reflective of the fact 
that the total population is increasing (slightly) but our family sizes 
are decreasing rapidly - hence the need for more houses (140% of 2000 
stock needed by 2010). Without this growth the 26 county economy would 
collapse. Those benefiting from the Peace process in the North are 
largely border (and Belfast) contractors, property developers and those 
working for them. Those working for the state continue to benefit from 
the pump-priming associated with the 'subvention' from London and the 
rest of us live in the private or community-employed sectors while many 
are lumbered with huge levels of debt to pay off those expensive houses.

Le meas
DoC. 




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