Archive for December, 2012

During Leaders Questions, Richard Boyd Barrett, TD, People Before Profit/United Left Alliance raised the issue of Irish Forestry with the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

union picketToday saw an early morning picket at Spring Grove Services.

The protest was held in support of two workers sacked two weeks before Christmas for trying to start a union in the workplace to improve working conditions and comply with health and safety regulations.

Pictured Left alongside workers are:

Cllr Hugh Lewis, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Cllr Melisa Halpin and Lola Hynes People Before Profit Alliance.

In a statement today (December 20th) People Before Profit councillor, Melisa Halpin, slammed Labour Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, for voting for measures that will see council rents increasing for the poorest and the disabled.

At last night’s council meeting the councillors considered Budget 2013 which included a €680,000 cut from central government. The proposed budget included a variety of cuts to local services including an increase in rent to council tenants in receipt of disability payments and those in receipt of FIS.

People Before Profit councillors, Melisa Halpin and Hugh Lewis, proposed a motion to cut expenses for councillors, for one year, instead of raising rents for the lowest paid and the disabled.

This motion was rejected by 24 votes to 3. All parties, except People Before Profit, voted against this motion.

Melisa_Halpin (2)Cllr Halpin said: “I cannot believe that nearly 20% of the cut from central government is going to be heaped on about 290 families. This measure will mean that council tenants, who are already on the breadline, many of whom have just been at the butt end of cuts to Respite Care Grants and Child Benefit, will now be hit again with an increased rent of €5 or €10 or even €20 per week.

“Our motion gave the councillors an opportunity to take the hit themselves rather than pile it onto those that can afford it least. They chose not to do this. Clearly they are more interested in protecting their own perks and junkets than looking after the vulnerable and ill.”

“Before the Budget at the beginning of December it was reported that 1.3 million people have less than €50 left at the end of the month. The budget wiped out that €50 and now many of them will have this increase. When is this government going to realise you cannot get blood out of a stone.”

CCllr Lewis added: “It is to be expected that parties like Fine Gael and Fianna Fail would support a measure that sees the poorest paying through the nose, but that this increase in council rents was supported by the Labour Party, who claim to be on the side of working people, is an absolute disgrace.

In the last years we have seen cut after cut to the Local Government Fund, first by Fianna Fail and the Greens and now by Fine Gael and the Labour Party, if we want decent local services we need properly funded local authorities based on progressive central taxation.”

How can we fight the Cuts from Nigel Hanlon on Vimeo.

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Richard Boyd Barrett TD joins protest outside the Dail this evening

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit/United Left Alliance challenges Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD (Fine Gael) on the governments broken promises, for example, with respect to disability and child benefit during Leaders Questions on Tuesday 11th December 2012.


Last night at the council meeting People Before Profit/ULA Councillors Melisa Halpin & Hugh Lewis’s motion to suspend standing orders was passed and FINALLY the issue of the oil rig in Dublin Bay was discussed properly. The motion to stop council business was voted for by 20 to 7 (a nice about turn from last Feb when it was defeated 14 to 10).

After nearly an hours discussion, the councillors finally unanimously agreed a motion that included much of Melisa Halpin and Hugh Lewis’s motion. The motion agreed now finishes with a call on both the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Natural Resources to conduct an immediate review of all licences granted to Providence Resources in Dublin Bay and to suspend all activity in this regard pending the outcome of the review.

While we, in SOS would have preferred to see an outright call to withdraw the licence, Melisa and Hugh decided it was advisable to ensure that the concrete call for a review was included in the motion passed by all councillors rather than have a wishy washy motion with no concrete call unanimously agreed and a motion to withdraw the licences defeated.

An official letter will now issue from the Council to the Ministers informing them of the unanimous decision from the council and looking for an immediate response.

This is a major step in the right direction and it was ONLY possible because of all of you who lobbied and protested over the last months. The councillors clearly felt the heat and will pass this heat on to the Ministers in their parties.

That said we cannot rest on our laurels we have to keep pressing home this advantage and keeping the pressure on in every possible way.

The next immediate action, organised by SOS is on Wednesday 12 December at 10.45am Richard Boyd Barrett will be raising the issue in the Dail with Enda Kenny.

SOS is hosting an open meeting to discuss where the campaign should go next on Monday at 6.30pm in Kozie II in Dun Laoghaire. EVERYONE is welcome.

Social Welfare cuts hammer living standards of most vulnerable

Baseline Benefits are under attack, despite Government’s lies

The Social Welfare Bill 2012 exposes the nastiest edge of Budget 2013’s axe. The Labour Party has shamefully tried to pretend that they managed to soften Fine Gael’s cough, but this Bill exposes that most ludicrous of lies. Cuts to the Respite Care Grant, Child Benefit and Jobseekers Benefit, and PRSI increases for low earners will have devastating consequences for the vulnerable and for those on low and middle-incomes.

Richard_Boyd_BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett TD said:

“The Government is using this Bill to further sow illusions that social welfare recipients are to blame for the economic crisis and to deflect attention away from bankers and speculators. Joan Burton’s ‘overpayment recovery’ proposal is an attempt to paint some of the unemployed as the ‘undeserving poor’ and ignores the mass poverty that currently exists in Ireland.” Continue reading