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The People's Charter 2011

1 Our present supine attitude to the power of Frankfurt-Brussels to be replaced by an unapologetic defence of our national interest. O'Connell and Parnell gave confidence to the people in the past, and there must be a contemporary re-awakening of such self-belief.

2 We must consult the people by referendum on the EU-IMF 'bailout'.

3 After the referendum, we will tell Frankfurt-Brussels that the people have spoken and that they believe the terms of the loans will crucify them, that we will have to carry a debt burden into the future which will cripple recovery, and that we will be trapped in a vicious circle making our payments impossible. If bondholders are burned, so be it, that's capitalism.

4 We must throw out the current four-year deficit plan and renegotiate it for seven years.

5 There must be a 'Nama for the people' to ease the existing mortgage burden for householders.

6 Everything must be done to increase investment for profit, the only way to create genuine jobs. We will propose a reduction in the 12.5 per cent corporation tax to 10 per cent.

7Frankfurt-Brussels economic dogma must be challenged. It is enforced to maintain their dominance of Europe. Therefore, ideas like some form of devaluation should not be peremptorily dismissed as heresy, nor should inflation be regarded as the greatest of all economic evils. Some inflation for a debt-ridden people may not be all a bad thing.

8 Confidence and growth must be restored to the consumer economy. At present, this part of the economy is being deliberately allowed to deflate in order to bring our costs down and make exports and tourism more competitive. A terrible price is being paid by those who live and work in the consumer economy -- and this, on present policy, will last another couple of years. Buoyant consumer demand will create far more jobs than the export sector, and there also is a humanitarian argument against allowing Frankfurt-Brussels to regard business and workers in this sector as the casualties of economic war.

9 The collapse in property prices must be halted. Finish or demolish ghost estates.

10 Public spending must be genuinely controlled, something politicians are reluctant to do for obvious reasons. We take in about €31bn in taxes in a year and have to borrow a further €19bn for day-to-day spending on the public sector and social welfare. These proportions are economic madness. Little has been done to close wasteful quangos. Reforms of the public sector must be genuine and not a cynical exercise to fool the people.

11 Words like investment, profit, trade, ambition and enterprise must not be taboo in the politicians' vocabulary. They indicate an understanding of a healthy economy. The government cannot create jobs, it can merely provide employment at the taxpayer's expense.

12 The taxpayer will not be asked to continue to provide infinite support to a dysfunctional banking system. It is not the end of the world if a large bank has to close.

13 We will open our minds to ideas such as nuclear energy and casinos. A closed mind on such issues is tolerable during a boom, but it is redundant as we enter the fourth year of domestic recession. The economy today is about 22 per cent smaller than it was in 2007, and the pain has not been borne equally, nor will it on present policies. Enough is enough.

Aengus Fanning

January 23, 2011

Sunday Independent