Party Profile: Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit

Often described as being Ireland’s far left, in reality they are advocating a fairly radical social democratic programme, similar to that of British Labour from the 1940s to the 1970s. Their policies are by no means anti-capitalist or socialist like they claim, but they are anti-establishment and anti-big business.

Perhaps the loudest voice calling for legislation allowing for abortions, in favour of marriage equality, an end to discrimination in schools, and an end to austerity (tax hikes/spending cuts). It is broadly a eurosceptic party, advocating an exit of Ireland from the EU. It has campaigned against hospital closures, water charges and property tax, being in favour of progressive taxation and redistribution of income. It is pushing for a national health service, free at the point of service, rent controls, and an end to corporate tax avoidance.

It is exceptionally weak when it comes to rural issues, farming, fishing, rural economies and the economies of smaller towns. It has also proved to be indifferent, and at times hostile, to the Irish language and Gaeltacht areas.

At times AAA (less so PBP) can be petty, even spending more time attacking Sinn Féin for not being left wing or anti-austerity enough for their liking, rather than focusing on Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour, and said austerity, as well as focusing excessively on small local issues, which isn’t in itself a bad thing. It’s party structures, like those of Sinn Féin, are quite closed and undemocratic. That being said, they are easily one of the most effective campaigners on both social issues and economic issues, particularly the inequality in both areas.

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