ADDRESS TO BDC 2015 BY PATRICIA KING, GENERAL SECRETARY, JULY 8 2015
Delegates Income Inequality is a complex topic and the solutions cannot be reduced to a single answer. We know that growing income disparities are part of a global trend. We know that for decades this Island of Ireland has been subjected to a system of Neo Liberal economics, dominant in the English speaking world, the most prominent exponents of which were people like Regan and Thatcher.
We know that the main policies of this dogma were to promote free trade, cut public spending, eliminate regulation, encourage wealth creators and reduce the role of Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining all of which have over those years caused considerable hardship and damage to the lives of workers and their families. You only have to consider the circumstances in Greece today to appreciate how far they will go to pursue this dogma without much regard to the deprivation to be visited on the ordinary people of that country. Delegates inequality isn’t the price to be paid for rising prosperity, Inequality makes rising prosperity possible. It is the engine driving this economic philosophy.
What does a properly functioning economy mean? Well it means that citizens who need a home can access one affordably, that everyone who needs healthcare can receive it through a universal system rather than a dual system which is solely based on how much wealth you own. It’s the availability of quality childcare , at reasonable rates, rather than the exorbitant sums currently required and it is an economy where people are not afraid to grow old but are assured of adequate income and care in their elder years.
Full speech can be read here patrica_king_address_bdc_2015