Archive for June, 2014


housingIn a statement this morning, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance, has expressed outrage that the Housing Bill, passed this morning will remove tens of thousands of families and individuals from housing lists across the country.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government’s housing bill, introduced by Labour Party Minister for Housing, Jan O Sullivan, is a shameful betrayal by Labour of those who voted for them and is in effect the wholesale privatisation of all future social housing provision.

Deputy Boyd Barrett who first warned of the government’s intention to effectively abolish council housing lists and privatise social housing provision in July 2011 and the inevitable housing crisis that would follow warned that there would be “absolute outrage and disbelief” among families and households on the list as the news filtered out over the coming months that the list no longer existed.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The Labour Party has stabbed their supporters in the back with this Housing Bill. Many of the Labour TD’s and councillors built their reputation and support around the issue of council housing and now, in one fell swoop they have abolished the housing lists and privatised social housing. Once again we see the Labour Party introduce Fine Gael policy in their legislation, they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Minister’s promise of a “transfer list” for those who they are removing from the housing list is just preposterous. The legislation makes it absolutely clear that the only people who will get council houses in the future are those with disabilities or special needs.

Families waiting up to 15 years to be housed in a council house will now discover that their years waiting have simply been expunged and that they will never get a council house of their own. There will be blue murder when the news of what is being done here filters out.

We have been organising protests on this issue both in Dun Laoghaire and across the city and we will be organising Housing Action Campaign meetings across Dublin to co-ordinate resistance to the government’s disastrous housing policy”.

PBPA TD appeals to the government to pull back from disastrous housing plan to avoid housing chaos

rbb housingIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD said the passing of the Housing Miscellaneous Bill 2014 in the Dáil tonight will produce outrage and despair among tens of thousands of families on council housing lists across the country and result in “utter chaos” in local authority housing departments.

Deputy Boyd Barrett will be speaking in the Dáil this evening and who has been campaigning against the proposed changes to the social housing regime since they were first flagged by the government in June 2011, said the bill, which included which included the new HAP scheme said the bill would result in tens of thousands of families being struck off council lists and would “effectively privatise social housing provision”.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “This bill represents a fundamental dismantling of social housing provision by the state. Despite all the spin and mis-information being put out by the government the fact remains that with the passing of this bill, tens of thousands of families will be removed from housing lists they have been on up to fifteen years and will now be deemed to be appropriately housed in private rented accommodation.

The rent allowance system was only ever a temporary solution but now the government with this bill are making it a permanent solution and claiming private rented accommodation is the same as getting a council house.

When people who have been waiting on the list for ten to fifteen years find this out there will be utter outrage and despair. There will also be complete bedlam in local authority housing departments who are already unable to cope with the housing and homelessness crisis.

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Anti-racism activists called for a rally in Rathfarnham Village on Thursday, 19 June at 6.30pm, following the news of a foreign taxi driver’s home being racially attacked over the weekend.

The victim, Happy Agamah (63), who is a German citizen, is planning to leave Ireland after a terrifying and racially motivated petrol bomb attack on his home. In response to the attacks, Mr. Agamah said, “I was in the bedroom when they set fire on a mattress. I have had many incidents since coming here. They have banged on my door at night and shouted ‘come out nigger. You niggers come here to take our jobs.’”

Called by anti-racism activists and People Before Profit Rathfarnham representatives, the rally is aimed to show solidarity with Happy Agamah and condemn racism. The rally is supported by trade unions Unite and Siptu, as well as various migrant support organization and anti-racist campaign groups such as ENAR Ireland Network, Roma Integration Association, Anti-Deportation Ireland, Immigrant Council of Ireland and ROI Against Racism, among others. A number of local councillors are also supporting the rally.

Memet Uludag, one of the organizers of the rally said, “We are calling on all anti-racist organisations and individuals to join the rally and show solidarity with the victim. This is a very serious incident and nobody should live in fear because of racism. We cannot allow such racist attacks to force people out of their homes, their neighbourhoods and even worse, out of Ireland. Racism divides communities, creates an atmosphere of hate and fear, and it ruins lives. All are welcome to join this rally”

Rathfarnham People Before Profit representative John Flanagan said,

“This anti-racist rally has been organised in response to a racially motivated attack which resulted in local resident Happy Agamah being burned out of his home and in fact lucky to survive the incident. It is very important to support this rally against racism and send a clear message that racism will not be tolerated in our communities.

Blaming our neighbours for many of the problems we are facing today solves nothing except creating a diversion from the real issues. We cannot allow such racist attacks to happen in Ireland. We must unite and fight against racism together.”

Recently similar attacks have taken place in the Belfast and anti-racist groups have organised mass rallies in protest. A Nigerian man whose home was subjected this week to a racist campaign in Belfast said the incident was “like a flashback” to an attempted racial assault on him three years earlier. Memet Uludag’s election posters were subjected to racist vandalism during the local elections campaign in May 2014.

Peace activists Margaretta D’Arcy, Dr Ed Horgan and Dr John Lannon today addressed a Dail Committee over US Miltary use of Shannon Airport. Watch their presentations and Richard Boyd Barrett TD below:

Richard Boyd Barrett TD speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland today (June 18th) criticised the HAP scheme saying people will lose their place on the local authority housing list

We need to follow Norway model not just tinker with terms and conditions of current regime

oil-rigIn a statement this lunchtime, People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett said the announcement today by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, of a new tax regime for offshore petroleum is a result of the sustained pressure from campaigning groups around the country.
The People Before Profit TD said the consistent campaigning of different groups has forced the government into some improvement of the tax regime for offshore petroleum and said that up until this point the regime had consisted of a complete give away to multinationals of our natural resources.
However, Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government’s proposals fall way short of what is actually needed to ensure that the citizens of Ireland get the full benefit of these enormously valuable resources.
In particular, he said any increased tax take should be retrospective on any licences already given out and that a royalty regime that ensures a far greater share of the value of any oil produced to the Irish state was needed.
He said that a production sharing approach is needed and that under no circumstances should ownership of the gas and oil be handed over to multi-national companies.

He said further, that stipulations should be included in any agreements with oil companies and that local workers here in Ireland must get a significant share of any exploration and service related work and that similarly ensured the development of an indigenous industry in the area of oil and gas oil and gas production

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Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance, today challenged the Taoiseach Enda Kenny over Ireland’s corporate tax regime in the Dail having just attended Dail Committee on the issue, where compelling evidence presented by Prof Jim Stewart, that multinationals not paying their fair share.

Counter -revolution in social housing provision passes unnoticed with tens of thousands of families to be struck of housing lists after years waiting

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance, has expressed outrage that with the passing of the Housing Miscellaneous Bill 2013 through the Dáil tonight, the government will begin the process of removing 96,000 families across the country from council housing lists ensuring they will never get a council house, despite being on housing waiting lists for up to 15 years.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the government’s housing bill represents a “counter-revolution” in social housing provision, at a stroke doing away with the entitlement of tens of thousands of families to a council house and effectively privatising all future social housing provision.

Deputy Boyd Barrett who first warned of the government’s intention to effectively abolish council housing lists and privatise social housing provision in July 2011 and the inevitable housing crisis that would follow warned that there would be “absolute outrage and disbelief” among families and households on the list as the news filtered out over the coming months that the list no longer existed.

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Richard Boyd Barrett speaking on Nuclear Power and the Arms Industry during the Dail discussion on the Radiological Protection Bill 2014 on the 12th June 2014.

Press Statement following last Friday’s first sitting of the newly elected Dublin City Council

People Before Profit councillors express their disappointment at Sinn Fein’s manoeuvers with the Pro-Austerity Labour and Green Parties.

People Before Profit Alliance Councillor Brid Smith stated: “To witness Sinn Fein agreeing to a deal with the Labour Party and Greens is not only disappointing to those of us on the council who believed a left-wing anti-austerity council was a distinct possibility but, more importantly, to Sinn Fein voters and supporters who rejected Labour at the polls. The people have given Sinn Fein a massive and historical mandate to reject austerity and fight the cuts.

We met with Sinn Fein in recent days to discuss the possibility of a left led council in Dublin. We made it perfectly clear that, despite political differences, we would vote for candidates to mayoral office who were opposed to austerity.

We indicated that People Before Profit were not interested in capturing committee chair positions in order to get extra expenses. But we did indicate very clearly our preferences for positions on some of the key Special Policy Committees.

Our primary purpose is to use our seats to alleviate the suffering caused by cuts in public services.

We argued that a left- led council could help mobilise the people of Dublin to demand extra funding from central government for social housing, an immediate opening of vacant properties to house the homeless and to demand that the Government implement rent controls.

We made it clear that we would not sign any blank cheque to pass budgets that involved cuts to local services.

We do not think that the mass of Sinn Fein voters have any desire to see them form an alliance with the pro austerity parties.

Councillor Brid Smith

Councillor John Lyons

Councillor Tina MacVeigh

Councillor Andrew Keegan

Councillor Sonya Stapleton