Association of Catholic Priests on economic choices facing Ireland
Priests who work in parishes are constantly in touch with the struggles of people from all sections of society. We are painfully aware of the hardship that is being visited on so many by the economic downturn. People find themselves in desperate situations, leading to great personal, family and social stress. We wish to raise our voice in favour of those who are suffering greatly at this time.
In this crisis economic decisions will be taken which will have enormous repercussions for people, not merely in 2011 but for years and, possibly, decades to come. Many of the solutions being proposed are draconian and will impact negatively on the lives and well-being of Irish people. It seems that the needs of the market, which created the financial problems in the first place, are given precedence over everything else. Unfortunately most of the people making these decisions are from the better off section of society, and therefore it is less likely that they will make decisions that are fair and just — most of us are only able to see the world from our own point of view.
The Association of Catholic Priests would like to draw attention to the policies put forward by Social Justice Ireland in their recent Policy Briefing. We feel that may of these proposals constitute a more humane and just attempt at dealing with the problems we currently face. In particular we would like to draw attention to the following:
- making the tax system fairer
- addressing issues facing the working poor
- creating real work for a large number of unemployed people
- taking action to make education and health care fairer
- Ensuring that the corporate sector makes some contribution towards solving Ireland’s fiscal problems
Social Justice has costed its proposals, and we recommend that people examine them as outlined in their website. Given the damage which reckless bankers, light touch regulation and lack of political oversight have inflicted on the Irish economy, its seems unfair to expect ordinary citizens pay the price for such mismanagement.
While we will all have to learn to live on less, this drop in standards will have to be shared by all sections of society