Decision on abortion is for pregnant women to take

The unborn do not have an unqualified right to life: that qualification centres crucially on the pregnant woman and only she should decide. By Vincent Browne.

How anybody thought an investigation panel into the death of a person in a hospital controlled by the Health Service Executive could include medics from that hospital and a representative of the HSE itself would be beyond belief were it not devised by the hapless James Reilly.

So too is the absence of any clear legal basis for investigation, made worse by the absence of legal expertise on the panel.

Means-test central

If means-testing delivers resources to those most in need, then we should have seen this in Ireland. But have we? By Michael Taft.

The Troika is at it again – putting pressure on the Government to do something. This time the ‘something‘ is to introduce more means-testing.

The unemployment crisis: A modest 0.7% response

During periods of enforced unemployment, where the private markets cannot employ people who want to work, the state should employ people until sufficient job creation commences. By Michael Taft.

Even the Government admits their policies are having little effect on job creation. They expect unemployment to remain at 13% by 2015, a fall of only one percentage point since they took office. The number of people at work will only grow by 12,000 over the lifetime of this government. Truly, we are into a period of medium-term stagnation.

Abortion is a medical intervention to which women need access

No one knows for sure yet what happened to Savita Halappanavar. We know that she wanted to be pregnant, that she miscarried, and that the care she received did not save her life. It is important to push for medical accountability in such cases, and to demand a full investigation into whether protocols existed and were followed, and if the patient was subject to discriminatory harassment and remarks, as has been alleged.

I want to be an agent of economic recovery, but they won't let me play!

Why not do something creative with the €400 million cut from the drugs bill? Maybe address a social need, increase growth and employment, and reduce household costs? By Michael Taft.

One of the keys to an alternative budgetary strategy is to stop cutting current public spending. This would provide an opportunity to re-direct or re-invest productivity gains and spending efficiencies into expanding growth and employment. This would be more effective at repairing public finances than the current austerity strategy.

Claiming the alternative

The key message from recent work by Claiming Our Future is that if the Government wants to hit low-average income groups, it is a political decision – not one based on economic or budgetary necessity. By Michael Taft.

It's official - Government employment policy is failing

Don’t be surprised if unemployment remains high if the Government pursues job-cutting measures. By Michael Taft.

It’s official. The Government’s employment policy is failing. This finding comes from the Government itself, in the form of projections contained in yesterday’s Medium Term Fiscal Framework. The projections are chilling and depressing. Let’s first turn to employment.

The assault on Ireland's working poor

Together with other civil society organisations – the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, and the Communities Campaign Against the Cuts – the Dublin Council of Trade Unions is organising an Anti-Austerity March on 24 November.  In a ’30 day countdown’ to the event, we have been publishing daily ‘Reasons to March’ – short fact-sheets illustrating what austerity is doing to individuals, society and the economy.