Archive for July, 2015

11042967_450663241753703_2950018618013126250_nWithout rent controls and massive emergency council housing programme the housing crisis will continue & bubble economy will re-inflate.

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett has rubbished the latest report from the government’s Housing Agency for repeating failed market dogma in relation to meeting housing need in the country and failing to put centre stage the need for rent controls and directly state built council housing to deal with the worsening housing crisis.

Deputy Boyd Barrett warned that current government policy and the approach of the housing agency would hurtle the country towards a repeat of the housing bubble that crashed the economy, while failing to provide for actual housing need and allowing the current housing crisis to worsen.

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irish_water_splashPBPA TD says Irish Water fiasco should end after ruling by EU statistics body

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance and a member of the steering group of Right2Water has said the decision by Eurostat that Irish Water must remain on the state balance sheet has exposed the ludicrous financial structure of the water utility and removed yet another of the claimed reasons for its existence.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said also that the Eurostat ruling confirmed what opponents of water charges and Irish Water have warned all along, that for the government’s off-balance sheet strategy to work in the long-run, household charges would have to be increased to several times their current level and the utility would have to be privatised.

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Hundreds expected at community protest against Dublin Bus savage bus cuts affecting Sallynoggin, Killiney, Blackrock and Dalkey. Assembling 1pm, Seafront entrance to The People’s Park. Dun Laoghaire and marching through Dun Laoghaire concluding with rally at St. Michael’s Church, Marine Road.
Following a public meeting of over 300 people in Sallynoggin last week, one of the biggest meetings to have taken place in the Dun Laoghaire area for years, a protest will take place in Dun Laoghaire tomorrow against Dublin Bus plans to cut and change several bus routes affecting the areas of Sallynoggin, Loughlinstown, Killiney village, Dalkey village, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire.

Local residents across Dun Laoghaire are absolutely furious at the impact these cuts will have on a number of working class communities and particularly the elderly, the disabled and school children.

Organisers are expecting a very large turn-out.

  • Nearly 43,000 people on Dublin City Council waiting list
  • Homeless Budget to DCC short €18 million
  • Traveller Acommodation Programe budget cut by 90%
  • New Part V legislation will lead to further privatisation of social housing

As the Dail goes into recess, the housing crisis continues to escalate. In a statement today, housing campaigners pledged to gather as they return in September to demand an emergency council house building programme, an end to the reliance on private developers and landlords to deliver houses for those in need and immediate rent controls.

Last week the Urban Regeneration and Housing Bill went through the Dail, which will lead to further reliance on private developers to deliver social housing. This bill included the new Part V legislation which will now allow developers to lease housing to councils rather than ensuring that 10% of their developments go to secure permanent council housing.

On Tuesday new figures from Dublin City Council showed the highest ever number of people on the housing waiting list – nearly 43,000, including 16,500 children.

 Last week Dublin City councillors heard that there was an €18 million shortfall in the funding for the Homeless Agency and that the Traveller Accommodation Programme has been cut by 90% since last programme.

rbbRichard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit said: “It is an utter disgrace that despite announcement after announcement by Minister Kelly making grand promises to tackle the housing crisis, the reality is the housing and homelessness crisis is getting worse on a daily basis. The Dail is now going into recess but the housing lists will continue to spiral and local authorities are running out of money to refurbish houses for those in need.   So when the Dail returns in September the crisis will be worse not better.

To add insult to injury Minister Kelly’s last bill, the Urban Regeneration and Housing Bill, includes measures that will allow developers to make vast profits out of leasing social housing to council’s instead of transferring those houses into the ownership of local authorities.  So if housing applicants ever are allocated a house, which is doubtful, it will not be a council house, it will not be permanent and they will continue to be subject to the whim of private landlords.

Fr.-McVerryPeter Mc Verry (Veteran Housing campaigner) said: “Housing and homelessness are the biggest social problems in Ireland today.  Both the number of people on the social housing waiting lists, and the number of homeless people, are rising every month.  Today we have whole families being told there is no accommodation available for them.  But this crisis is not being adequately addressed, nor does it even seem to be recognised.  The failure to increase the Rent Supplement is the primary cause of the increasing numbers of homeless families today; disused dwellings are lying empty as Dublin City Council have run out of money to bring the “voids” back into use; the failure to ensure that those in mortgage arrears are protected from eviction, all add up to a potential nightmare for a Government seeking election in seven or eight months time.”

Cllr Brid Smith (Dublin City Council): “The recent figure of 43,000 people waiting for houses in Dublin is utterly shocking, and probably even more shocking is the fact that 750 new applications have been received by DCC each month for the last months.  This is unprecedented in the history of the state and shows that despite all the great fanfare around Minister Kelly’s repeated announcements of his Social Housing Strategy and his €3 billion in funding, the reality is nothing is changing and the crisis is just getting worse.

Last week DCC received a letter from the Minister announcing that the Homeless Agency would only be receiving €38 million rather than the €55 million that is needed to keep the service going.  This shortfall of €18 million has a knock on effect and the council have now run out of money to bring boarded up houses back into use.

We are calling on the Minister to release the €18 million before the recess.

It has also, just become clear that the Traveller Accommodation Programme in DCC has also been cut by 90%in line with all the other cuts to Traveller supports.

Roisin Murphy (Women’s Aid) said:  “The current housing crisis is putting lives of women fleeing domestic violence at risk. The lack of affordable and social housing, coupled with the dearth of affordable rental properties in the greater Dublin area has left women with no options but to stay in an abusive relationship.

Some women in abusive relationships were forced to sleep in cars, others, sometimes sleeping on the floors and sofas at the home of family & friends as they seek safety from violence. The housing crisis is even more serious for victims of domestic violence because women are unable to leave the family home for financial or other reasons. In Jan of this year Safe Ireland which runs a national network of more than 40 services for victims of domestic violence said its 21 emergency shelters are full to capacity due to the lack of housing available to women fleeing domestic violence.”

People Before Profit TD says Irish people should support today’s General strike and growing protests in Greece against latest austerity deal
imageIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett has said the IMF’s warning that Greece needs a major write-down of debt in contrast to hard-line stance of the Eurozone, confirms that “the Greek people are victims of pure political bullying by the EU, not sound or sustainable economic policy.

Deputy Boyd Barrett condemned “the particularly disgraceful role of the Irish government” who had, according to the former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, “acted as the enemies” of Greece in not seeking a write-down of their unsustainable debt.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that he fully supported the general strike and mass protests taking place today in Greece against the new EU austerity package and “the tragic decision of Tsipras Government to accept such a humiliating deal”.

The People before Profit TD said he was travelling to Greece this weekend to speak at a conference of the left in Athens, where he would be “pledging the support of PBPA to the political forces and protests in Greece opposed to the austerity deal”.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “The IMF has confirmed what any child could see, namely that Schauble and the EU bullies, including our government, refused Greece a debt write-down and relief from austerity, for political reasons. Their aim was to crush political opposition to austerity.

It’s totally shameful and the role of Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and Joan Burton in all of this has been particularly despicable. However, the battle is not over by any means. There is a massive general strike in Greece today and protest building against the tragic decision of Tsipras government to capitulate to the EU’s shameful bullying.

The Tsipras government does not have the mandate to accept this terrible deal after the referendum a week ago and the people of Greece are right to take to the streets.

They are fighting for all of us by striking and taking to the streets today, and people should support those protests regardless of the decisions of the Tsipras government.

I will be travelling to Greece this weekend to extend the solidarity of PBPA to those forces that are continuing the fight for debt relief and an end to austerity.
The huge support for the water charges boycott here in Ireland will be a message of hope for the people of Greece that they are not alone in fighting the disaster of austerity.

This is a battle, whether here, in Greece, or anywhere, that was always going to be won on the streets, not in negotiations with the bad faith partners of the EU elites”.


Around 300 people came to a meeting in Sallynoggin last night showing huge opposition to proposed changes to bus routes that would see some areas completely losing bus service. Richard Boyd Barrett TD also raised it in the Dail.

Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority are proposing major changes to all bus routes in the greater Dun Laoghaire area.

The no. 7 is to be routed out of Sallynoggin and down the Sallyglen Rd – leaving the people of Sallynoggin with no direct route into town or to St Vincent’s Hospital.

This will cause major hardship particularly to the elderly and disabled. The service from Loughlinstown Park is to be reduced from 3 per hour to 2 per hour. The 7 will also bypass Blackrock.

The response in the area has been overwhelmingly in support of maintaining the existing bus services.