A new group called the Anti-Austerity Alliance has launched its Local Election campaign by pledging to oppose water charges and to fight cutbacks at council level.

The AAA is running 41 candidates across the country and is made up of Socialist Party members and independent campaigners.

At its launch in Dublin today, the Alliance was scathing in its criticism of Government policy.

Its representatives said people are being forced to pay the Local Property Tax while struggling to feed their families.

The alliance ruled out forming any pact with the mainstream parties on councils after the May elections.

The AAA is advocating a wealth tax and an increase in corporation tax.