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More cuts expected in Budget 2013

Megan Naughton

 

Image by Megan Naughton

Local community groups struggle in the face of harsh austerity cuts, writes Megan Naughton.

Local community groups throughout the Liberties and the rest of Ireland are at their wits end as budget 2013 heralds more funding cuts for already foundering programmes.

Liberties community groups such as The South Inner City Community Development Association (SICCDA) and The Liberties community Training Agency (LCTA) are left at a loss as to how they should plan for the New Year with the increasingly pertinent threat of budget cuts hanging over them.

Barbara Brennan, manager of the job club at SICCDA, expressed her concern at the proposed austerity measures. “Our Community Development department are suffering serious financial cuts to their budgets, they deal with the elderly, festivals and various community events,” said Brennan.

The volume of anti-austerity protests seen in the weeks and indeed months coming up to the budget’s official announcement shows the extent of the fear and uncertainty these groups must endure every year.

On Wednesday 21st of November, 2000 people marched to Leinster house to protest disability payment cuts. Also on Saturday 24th of November three Dublin groups; The Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, Communities Against Cuts and the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, joined forces at Parnell square to rally against austerity.

The protest, which also had representatives from the People Before Profit Alliance, the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and various other community groups from around the city was estimated to have attracted around 10,000 people, although organisers of the march put the figure closer to 20,000.

A smaller protest also took place in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s home town of Castlebar the day after on Sunday 25th of November with a reported 400 people in attendance.

Meanwhile, larger groups such as Amnesty Ireland have also been vocal about their disapproval of the government’s austerity measures.

This is the government’s sixth austerity budget, and it is clear from the massive protests staged over the last few weeks that community groups in the Liberties, as well as across the country, are becoming frustrated with the seemingly never ending stream of belt tightening measures and cuts being introduced by the government.

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