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