response to Art McCabe's defence of PPP/PFI (Andersonstown
News 16th September), how can Mr McCabe expect
the working class of Belfast and NI to believe that
private investors are going to pump their money in
to public services out of the goodness of their hearts?
have all ready seen the effects of PPP/PFI are going
to have on are public services. Since 1995 the water
service have replaced half of their ground work force
with outside contractors - is it coincidental that
we have had two cases of water poisoning? We have
the Assembly budget being presented to the house in
Stormont on the 23rd September when we will be told
that our transport, health, education and cleansing
are all to be handed over to PPP/PFI.
Mc Cabe says the best way forward for NI its PPP/PFI.
So how does PPP/PFI work? Say a new school costs £100
million to build, the private investor would put up
say £50 million of the cost, the government
would put in the other £50 million. The government
would then pay the investor back over say a twenty
five year period with guaranteed profits of 16,18%
and at the end of the Mortgage the private investor
owns the building. He is responsible for the up keep
and staff wages so therefore he is more likely to
introduce term time so that he will not have to pay
retainers during the holidays and so attacking wages
of the working class in the push for personal financial
gain. PPP/PFI should be called PBP (PROFIT BEFORE
PEOPLE). If Art Mc Cabe thinks that trade unionists
are going to stand idly by and let the likes of Sinn
Fein the DUP, UUP and the SDLP sell our jobs and our
future to big business he better thing again. The
four main political parties in Stormont would
do well to remember that the Stormont elections are
only eight months away.
amount of spin will convince the working class that
business is putting people before profit. Its
the working class who suffered the most during the
last eighty plus years of Orange Unionism and Nationalist
Catholic Conservatism rule in Ireland. Both North
and South, Labour have waited long enough. The national
question has been answered; we are to live in a power
sharing agreement. The time is coming when the working
class will have to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight
for whats right.
working class demands are very simple:
Jobs that pay a decent wage so we dont have
to depend on welfare.
2) A free health service, which delivers.
3) Free education up to and including third level.
4) Homes not slums to live in.
Art Mc Cabe thinks that multi-national corporations
are going to provide this he is a gullible fool. Mr
McCabe looks through rose tinted glasses when he describes
PPP in America. But Art forgets to tell you about
the 100 thousand homeless men women and children who
live on the streets of New York in absolute poverty.
Mr McCabe's argument goes up in smoke when you look
at the situation in Colombia, the richest country
in Latin America; but because of the policies of the
World Bank Organisation and the International Monetary
Fund, over 60% of the people live in poverty, unemployment
stands at 25% and 19 million live on less than a dollar
a day. Out of the 38,000 Colombians who were murdered
last year 17% died as a result of the war between
the left wing Rebels and the Government. The majority
of the rest were killed by the right wing paramilitaries
supported by both the Colombian and USA administrations.
is all about putting profit before people. Mr Mc Cabe
can put all the spin he wants on PPP/PFI but when
a system lets nineteen thousand children die every
day from hunger and the lack of drinking water youve
lost the argument. PPP/PFI is good for both the Catholic
and the Protestant middle class capitalist but it
will do nothing for the working class except screw
them in to the ground.
May 2003 the working class in NI will have to decide
what kind of society they want to live in. And by
placing a simple X in the wrong place they could be
condemning themselves and their children to a live
of poverty. Mr McCabe claims that if you are against
PPP/PFI you are against progress and defends both
McGuinness and De Brun for moving beyond ideology.
But if the working class are to get any justice they
need to break away from the Orange and Green sectarian
politics of the last eighty years and look towards
the ideology of Socialism.
The writer is an independent socialist
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