Michael Noonan’s Budget 2014 will take a further €2.5bn out of the economy;  in other words a figure of around €600 for every man, woman and child in the state. It is evident also that as anticipated the losers are the old, the sick and the young unemployed.

A recent article by Gary Mulcahy in the July/August edition of The Socialist dealt with the emergence of residents’ groups in North Belfast. The article was in line with the narrative that the Socialist Party espouses. Here Gerry Ruddy looks at where such a narrative leads in the context of the sectarian divided in the North of Ireland.

Over 1,000 junior doctors, members of Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), have voted by 97% in support of escalating their campaign up to and including strike action in opposition to massive workloads that breach the European Working Time Directive and shifts that can last more than 24 hours at a stretch.

Despite some jostling for position between the Fine Gael back benchers and Labour TD’s, Michael Noonan’s forthcoming Budget is set to add yet more pressure and hardship on hard pressed families across the state. The troika target of €3.1 billion in cuts and tax increases represents some €677 for every man, woman and child in the state.  Fine Gael TD’s are arguing for more and Noonan himself has said that “the next budget will be tough”. Since 2008 the total amount of cuts has hit €28.1bn; around €5,000 per head.

As this article was written on 14 July, during reports of a fourth day of rioting involving the throwing of a pipe bomb at police officers in Crumlin Road in North Belfast and other clashes involving the use of petrol bombs in East Belfast are starting to appear in the media.

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