Sunday 25 February 2018

Thousands march to have 'voices heard' before Budget cuts

Fiona Ellis

UP to 2,000 people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to protest against cutbacks.

President of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions Phil McFadden said the 'March Against Austerity' gave working class people the opportunity to demand their voices be heard and to call on the Government to re-think any more cuts in the upcoming Budget.

"People are feeling really let down over the last two years," he said. "They are not going after the people that can pay and won't pay, and that's the big problem.

"Now we're looking into a Budget which will hit the fundamental rights of people -- childcare has been hit, education has been hit and the health service has been hit. It's not a public-private sector fight. It's a working class fight. The Government needs to listen to what the people are saying."

Civil servant Gerry Murray, from Blanchardstown, Dublin, was protesting with his wife and young son Conor (2).

"I think we are all dreading the Budget," he said. "There is not a person in this country who is not feeling the pinch. We are going to be hit with household charges and water charges. It's a worry everyone is feeling."

PhD graduate Paul Conroy (27), from Laois, marched holding a sign saying: "I have my PhD and my visa out of here."

He said he didn't want to leave Ireland but felt he had no choice. "It's disappointing, you spend a lot of time in education and you come out and there are no opportunities," he said.

Irish Independent

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