Dublin residents protest over tax

2014-10-11 22:45

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Dublin - At least 15 000 people rallied against new water charges in Dublin on Saturday in Ireland's biggest anti-austerity protest for years, as a candidate campaigning against the tax won a seat in parliament.

The show of defiance against the tax, which will cost households hundreds of euros a year, is a significant challenge to the government, days before it unveils a new budget.

Ireland is in the European Union's euro zone and the currency bloc's austerity policies have been a burning issue in many of the 18 member states.

A rapidly improving economy has allowed the Irish government to promise its first budget without any new austerity measures in seven years on Tuesday, but opposition groups say working people are not feeling the improvement.

Mortgage holders

Paul Murphy from the Anti-Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat in the Dublin South West constituency, which was vacated by a member of the governing Fine Gael party who was elected to the European Parliament.

Murphy told supporters: "Recovery is for the rich, it's for the one percent... it's not for the working class people."

Since completing an international bailout last year, Ireland has been bucking the trend in Europe's stalled economic recovery, with the government forecasting gross domestic product to grow by 4.7% this year.

But over one in 10 are unemployed and more than 100 000 mortgage holders in arrears in a country of 4.6 million.

The Dublin rally organised by trade unions, anti-austerity groups and opposition parties snaked for kilometres around the centre of Dublin in the biggest show of force by anti-austerity groups in at least four years.
Read more on:    ireland  |  economy

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