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Draft Socialist Alliance Programme

The Celtic Tiger was built by the efforts of Irish workers but the rewards have gone to a tiny elite. The gap between the super-rich and the working population has never been greater. Under the guise of social partnership, wages have been held down while profits soar.

All the major parties urge people to accept this state of affairs.  They warn that if we dare rock the boat and look for more, we will destroy the boom. But the Celtic Tiger will not last anyway. The growing signs of recession in the US will soon mean that the very bosses who claimed to be partners today will come after us for redundancies and sackings tomorrow.

The Socialist Alliance will break this cosy set up that has benefited the super-rich. We want to send TDs into the Dail who will expose the games of the corrupt establishment and give their full support to workers who take them on. It's elected representatives will only take the average workers wages. We oppose any coalition or informal deal with the crooked right wing parties of FF and FG. We stand for the following policies.


Profits, land prices, houses prices, rents have all mushroomed in the Celtic Tiger. But the only item that is controlled is wages. It is no wonder that this has produced huge inequality.

We support the right of every worker to submit claims for extra wages and not to be hemmed in by social partnership deals. Social partnership is a fraud that promotes the myth that workers and bosses have the same interests.

  • End low pay. For a guaranteed minimum wage of £200 a week after tax.
  • The right to join a union of your choice. Companies must be forced to recognise these unions.


Politicians who have taken million in bribes are walking about freely while people who have not paid a television licence have been jailed. It is time to end a system where there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.

  • Jail the corrupt politicians.  Any politician found guilty of taking bribe should be immediately sent to jail.
  • Seize the assets of the big tax dodgers. The Criminal Assets Bureau has power to seize assets of criminals. So why should the banks be let off after they swindled millions in DIRT taxes?
  • Ban corporate funding of political parties. Big business never gives out money for without expecting something in return. They should not be let buy politicians so brazenly.


The multi-nationals and the Irish rich pay the lowest tax on profits in Europe. The banks are making £1 million a day in profit but they pay a lower proportion of tax on their profits than their cleaners do on their wages.

The Socialist Alliance wants: -

  • to tax the rich to fund our services. Instead of PAYE workers facing a double tax bill with water and refuse charges, the wealthy must be forced to support essential services.
  • no privatisation - extend the public services. Privatisation has been a disaster in Britain. We should stop this Thatcherism creeping in here.


The building industry has never been so busy - but there is a huge accommodation crisis. There are 150,000 people on the housing list waiting for a local authority house. Many who could previously afford to buy a house cannot do so now.

The Socialist Alliance stands for:

  • An emergency local authority house-building programme
  • Rent controls and tenant rights to prevent evictions.
  • Take building land in cities into public ownership.


A two-tier health system has grown up in the Celtic Tiger. Those with the most money get the best and fastest treatment while the poor languish on long waiting lists.

The Socialist Alliance stands for

  • A Free National Health System where the only criterion for treatment is need not money.
  • A sharp increase in heath spending to bring Ireland up to the level of the EU.


Our primary schools are among the worst funded in OECD countries. Working class children are severely under-represented in the colleges and there are not enough places for mature students.

  • 100% state funding of the school system, under local democratic control.
  • Double the student grant - greater access to colleges
  • Pay the teachers -improve the quality of education.


The quality of our environment is deteriorating. On a global level the Irish government has done little to challenge US government's sabotage of policies designed to control global warming. At home, it has pushed a policy of incineration rather than proper waste management based on re-cycling.

  • Ban GM Foods
  • Tackle the BSE crisis - put the interests of consumers above the beef industry.
  • No to incinerators - publicly funded programme of re-cycling.
  • Increase public transport - cut the fares to encourage its use rather than private motoring.


The Socialist alliance stands for an end to all forms of discrimination.

Sections of the political establishment are trying to stoke up racism to deflect attention from themselves. They must be stopped. We are for the right to asylum and believe that refugees should be made welcome and given the right to work.

  • For full access to buildings, public transport for the disabled.


We are for real equality for women. All employers to give equal pay and equal opportunities for women.

  • For free workplace and state run crèches. The Celtic Tiger has brought tens of thousands of women into the paid labour force - but it makes no provision for proper crèche facilities.
  • For fully funded rape crisis centres and refuges for women and children who have been violently attacked or abused.
  • Irish women should not have to travel to Britain for abortions. Implement the Supreme Court Judgement on the X case now.


Many voted for the Belfast Agreement in the hope that it would bring both peace and an end to sectarianism. In reality, it has institutionalised the existing sectarian divisions and is constantly supposed to be in crisis. It has established a right wing coalition government.

The Socialist Alliance is opposed to any return to the armed struggle. There should be complete de-militarisation. The British army should be withdrawn and the RUC disarmed immediately.

We stand for the development of class politics in the North which unite Catholic and Protestant workers. Such unity needs to be built on the firm foundation of opposing sectarian structures.


The Socialist Alliance is based on a coming together of socialists from different parties and none. It is a recognition that across the globe anti-capitalist ideas are growing since the great Seattle protests and that a strong socialist force is needed in Ireland. The alliance does not confine itself to elections but campaigns at grass roots level for real change. By voting for the Socialist Alliance you are indicating your support for all those fighting to get a real share of the Celtic Tiger and to ensure that the needs people come before profit.

Draft Socialist Alliance Structures

The Socialist Alliance is a broad network of likeminded socialists. It will contest elections on agreed policies and beyond that function as a network for co-ordinating socialist campaigning at a local level.

1. An interim co-ordinating committee should be elected at the first meeting. No party can have more than two delegates on this committee.

2. The Socialist Alliance is open to individual membership. Members make a     financial contribution and join the local networks.

3. In the run up to elections, the Socialist Alliance will convene electoral conventions to choose its candidates democratically.

4. The Socialist Alliance will hold a conference at least once a year. All members of the alliance are entitled to attend and vote at the conference.



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