Archive for November, 2014

Today, speaking on the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2014, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit said that the Government response to healthcare crisis is a “sticking plaster on a gaping wound” with a two tier health system and the promotion of a private health insurance “market”.

houses logoSocial housing announcement – triumph of spin over substance and masks continued move towards privatisation of social housing provision

Less than a third of promised 35,000 units will be new council houses – barely scratching the list.

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance, responding to Minister Alan Kelly’s much awaited new Social Housing Strategy, has said the plans announced will not even begin to address the current housing and homelessness emergency.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said also that apparently impressive commitment to deliver 35,000 housing units and meet the housing needs of 110,000 households on the housing list by 2020 was thoroughly deceptive and designed to mask the fact that the proposals were predicated on the continued privatisation of social housing through leasing arrangements with private landlords and Public Private Partnerships with private developers and corporate investors.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said 75,000 families on the housing list would simply be re-categorised from rent allowance to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) while remaining in the same insecure private rented accommodation. He said also that of the 35,000 new units promised by 2020 less than a third would be actual council houses, barely keeping pace with the number of new housing applicants each year.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that only an urgent variation in the rent allowance caps policy, the introduction of rent controls, and a return to large-scale direct provision of local authority housing through an emergency public works programme could address both the short term and long term housing crisis.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “Minister Kelly’s announcement today is a classic case of the triumph of spin over substance, an overblown fanfare that mask a wholly inadequate and thoroughly deceptive response to a housing a homelessness crisis that is spiralling out of control.”

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Richard Boyd Barrett speaking on the motion regarding Human Rights budgeting, 25 November

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit & Right2Water Campaign discusses water charges on RTE Radio’s Sean O’Rourke Show on Friday 21st Nov 2014.

Speaking on 20th November, Richard Boyd Barrett TD tells the government that the demonstration planned for the 10th of December will call for the scrapping of water charges.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD speaking on water privatisation on 20th November, 2014

Speaking live on RTE 9 O’Clock News on the day the government announced new measures for proposed water charges, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance and of Right2Water Campaign said “What people want is the abolition of water charges  the dismantling of the quango which is Irish Water”.

Massive Protests to take place outside the Dail on December 10th.

Government prayer that water concessions will quell tidal wave of protest will not be answered

right2water assembly - CopyIn a statement today responding to Minister Alan Kelly’s announcement of the government’s new water charges package, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance and member of the Right2Water campaign steering committee, has said the government’s latest series of concessions on water charges would “not assuage public anger against a fundamentally regressive and unfair tax.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that “the fundamental problem with water charges is that the millionaire pays the same as the struggling householder and that a basic human right is being turned into a commodity.”

The People Before Profit TD also strongly condemned the government’s moves to have landlords deduct charges from the deposits of tenants and said, “It is absolutely disgraceful that landlords are being turned into debt collectors”.

Richard-BoydDeputy Boyd Barrett predicted that mass protests demanding the full abolition of water charges would continue and that tens of thousands of people would descend on Dail Eireann at the next major national demonstration against water charges on December 10th.

He said that the public were “fully aware that the latest concessions by the government are nothing more than cynical sweeteners designed to establish the principle of water charges and will do nothing to prevent the inevitable and rapid rise of water charges in future years.”

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Government concessions on water do not address regressive and unfair character of charges or prevent rapid increases in the future

20140710-094718-35238372.jpgIn a statement yesterday Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance and a member of the steering committee of the Right2Water campaign has said that the widely leaked new government package on water charges fails to address the unfair and regressive nature of the charges or acknowledge the fact that many low income families simply do not have the money to pay another charge.

Deputy Boyd Barrett, one of the participants in yesterday’s Right2Water press conference in Dublin, said also that the €100 allowance could and would be taken away in the future, as had happened with waiver schemes for bin charges in the past, and that that once the principal of charges was established the cost of water charges would increase rapidly in future years.

He said the so-called concessions on charges being announced by the government were simply a desperate attempt by the government to stem the tide of popular revolt against charges and salvage the fortunes of the government parties prior to the next general election.

DSC_0027Deputy Boyd Barrett said that the peaceful mass protests organised by the Right2Water campaign over recent weeks, that had forced the government to back-pedal on the water charging regime, would continue until water charges were fully abolished.

Deputy Boyd Barrett predicted that tens of thousands of people would participate at the Right2Water peaceful protest planned for the Dáil on December 10th – taking the campaign against water charges to a new level.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The enormous and completely peaceful protests that took place on October 11th and November 1st have created a huge crisis for the government and forced them to back-pedal significantly on their water charges plans.”

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Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance on Vincent Browne Show 11th November in which he debated with Jerry Buttimer TD, Fine Gael and Senator Fidelma Healy Eames on Water Charges, the fresh Ansbacher allegations and inequality in Ireland.