The Irish government should provide grants to help establish local currency / complementary currency schemes. These schemes should also be linked together through a national network and local councils should accept payments in local currencies. The Irish government should also establish a National Redevelopment Community Fund to make available loans or advance payments to community organisations, small start-up enterprises, and existing small businesses to use as seed capital to make use of NAMA sites and ghost estates. Facilities, which currently lie vacant, should be made available to them at reasonable rates for the purpose of developing their businesses or for development as community or educational resources. The initial loan could either be repaid over time on a pre-agreed basis or the resulting finished facility could be part-owned by the state on completion of the development. Those organisations in receipt of the National Redevelopment Community Fund should be encouraged to employ those currently unemployed and to encourage the use of local currencies, wherever possible, in sourcing local materials and payment for services. Fís Nua supports the creation of Steady State Economies and is the first Irish Political Party to sign up to the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State (CASSE) Economy Position Statement On Economic Growth. This has already been done by several political parties in North America and Europe. The Center for the Advancement of The Steady State Economy (CASSE) Position Statement is as follows: Whereas:

  1. Economic growth, as defined in standard economics textbooks, is an increase in the production and consumption of goods and services, and;
  2. Economic growth occurs when there is an increase in the multiplied product of population and per capita consumption, and;
  3. The global economy grows as an integrated whole consisting of agricultural, extractive, manufacturing, and services sectors that require physical inputs and produce wastes, and;
  4. Economic growth is often and generally indicated by increasing real gross domestic product (GDP) or real gross national product (GNP), and;
  5. Economic growth has been a primary, perennial goal of many societies and most governments, and;
  6. Based upon established principles of physics and ecology, there is a limit to economic growth, and;
  7. There is increasing evidence that global economic growth is having negative effects on long-term ecological and economic welfare…

Therefore, we take the position that:

  1. There is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental protection (for example, biodiversity conservation, clean air and water, atmospheric stability), and;
  2. There is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and the ecological services underpinning the human economy (for example, pollination, decomposition, climate regulation), and;
  3. Technological progress has had many positive and negative ecological and economic effects and may not be depended on to reconcile the conflict between economic growth and long-term ecological and economic welfare, and;
  4. Economic growth, as gauged by increasing GDP, is an increasingly dangerous and anachronistic goal, especially in wealthy nations with widespread affluence, and;
  5. A steady state economy (that is, an economy with a relatively stable, mildly fluctuating product of population and per capita consumption) is a viable alternative to a growing economy and has become a more appropriate goal in large, wealthy economies, and;
  6. The long-run sustainability of a steady state economy requires its establishment at a size small enough to avoid the breaching of reduced ecological and economic capacity during expected or unexpected supply shocks such as droughts and energy shortages, and;
  7. A steady state economy does not preclude economic development, a dynamic, qualitative process in which different technologies may be employed and the relative prominence of economic sectors may evolve, and;
  8. Upon establishing a steady state economy, it would be advisable for wealthy nations to assist other nations in moving from the goal of economic growth to the goal of a steady state economy, beginning with those nations currently enjoying high levels of per capita consumption, and;
  9. For many nations with widespread poverty, increasing per capita consumption (or, alternatively, more equitable distributions of wealth) remains an appropriate goal.

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