Irish Anti-Austerity Groups Form New Party for 'Genuinely Left Government'
People Before Profit and Anti-Austerity Alliance announce new political campaign against high taxes and water privatization
Two Irish anti-austerity groups are joining forces to galvanize a new left political party in Ireland ahead of the country's upcoming general elections, which are set to take place before next April.
The Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) and People Before Profit (PBP) announced Wednesday that the groups were establishing a new parliamentary group for Ireland's chamber, known as Dáil, with plans to run up to 40 candidates in the election and launch a new party focused on empowering communities and unions through grassroots action.
"With the backdrop of a radicalization in Irish society, a growing rejection of the traditional establishment parties and, in particular, the active movement against water charges, the left can make gains in the upcoming general election," the group announced in its statement Wednesday morning.
Currently, the parliamentary members (TDs) who have joined the alliance include Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy, Joe Higgins, and PBP deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, along with 28 regional councilors.
The TDs plan to campaign against austerity cuts, water privatization, and abolishing for low- and middle-earners an income tax known as the Universal Social Charge.
The group said it will register for the elections following a three-week fundraising period. It also said it would not participate in government with establishment parties—such as Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil Labour, or "any right-wing parties/independents."
"Instead we are fighting for a genuinely left government that will ensure that the economy and country’s resources are used for people needs not profits," the statement concluded.
Both groups are relatively new, with PBP forming ahead of the last general election and AAA assembling last year in response to rising water taxes, but have garnered widespread support from activists and labor unions since their respective launches.