Archive for October, 2015

imagePeople Before Profit has signed up to the Right2Change principles. These principles arise from Ireland’s biggest social movement – the Right 2Water movement – and represent an important starting point in breaking the right wing consensus that has dominated Irish politics for so long.

People Before Profit will support the formation of a left wing government that will incorporate fully the Right2Water principles into its first programme for government. Should the numbers allow, we will enter discussion on forming such a government.

The key impetus behind the Right2 Water movement has been its ability to mobilise ‘people power’. It has already forced the government to retreat on its threats to turn off the water supply of those who did not pay their water bills. This focus on a grassroots mobilisation should not be lost in the run up to the general election.

Accordingly, People Before Profit believe that there should be a return to mass demonstrations. Once the election is called, for example, there should be a huge, united anti-austerity demonstration. Continue reading

harbourIn a statement today, People Before Profit Dun Laoghaire, welcomed the decision of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council to pass a motion amending the new County Development Plan which will exclude Cruise ships bigger than 250 metres from Dun Laoghaire harbour

People Before Profit Councillors Melisa Halpin and Karl Gill  proposed the motion to protect the harbour into the future by only allowing the small cruise ships to come directly into the Harbour. All other ships would have to dock in the bay and come in by tender or go to the larger cruise berth in Dublin Port. 

The passing of the motion comes, while An Bord Pleanala are currently considering an application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to build a giant cruise berth in the harbour to allow for super-size cruise ships of up to 430 metres in length.

Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD and chair of Save Our Seafront said: “Save Our Seafront is delighted with this news , which will now have to be taken into account by An Bord Pleanala in their current consideration of the cruise berth planning application. This is a huge victory for people power. We have been campaigning for nearly a year against a new Cruise Berth that would allow mega cruise ships come into our harbour, and which is linked to other plans to build hundreds of private apartments in the harbour. It is clear that public pressure, mobilized in meetings protests and petitions, is working. ”

“Dun Laoghaire harbour is at a cross roads since Stena left. The Harbour Company sees the future in these supersized monsters, we believe there is a different vision of the harbour – one which will safeguard traditional harbour users like the million people who walk the pier and those who fish and sail, while also developing the harbour in their interests. Super sized cruise ships in our harbour would shift the balance decisively away from the harbour as an amenity, we want to see the harbour maintaining the balance that it has always had as both a working harbour and an amenity.”

Cllr Melisa Halpin added: “The new draft of the County Development Plan will now include a number of motions that are totally incompatible with the super sized cruise ships. Our motion rules out ships bigger than 250 metres coming into the harbour, we also agreed motions to maintain only low rise development in the harbour and support a National Water Sports Centre. “

In a statement, People Before Profit has labeled Budget 2016 as having nothing in it for disadvantaged young people.

What we should have seen in this budget is the restoration of the Jobseekers rate of €188 to all Jobseekers under the age of 26. What we see now is the continuation of young Jobseekers trying to live off inadequate income.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) have said that ‘overall, this budget neglected to support and respond in an adequate manner to the needs of young people’. Indeed, we can see that youth unemployment in this country is at 20.6% for under 25s. This doesn’t even take into account the young people that have been forced to emigrate from this country. The NYCI also point out that 30,400 young people emigrated in 2015, with 223,600 under 25s leaving since the crisis began in 2008. These people have left because there is no hope for them here.

The fact that there is no rent certainty in this budget shows the attitude of this government. This is a government of the landlords. Young people with inadequate incomes are having a terrible time with regards to the increasing cost of living and rents that are going out of control. We have a housing crisis and without rent certainty we are going to see many more people being plunged into homelessness. A huge proportion of these will be young people.

In this state we have 1,500 children experiencing homelessness. For the government to not address homelessness in a meaningful way in this budget is a disgrace and it will have major negative effects on the youth in our society. This government have consistently chipped away futures of young people. We need to ask ourselves what kind of a country we want to live in. Either we can have a country as we do now, for the bankers and developers to get rich again, or we can choose a country that looks after its youth and all the other vulnerable groups in our society.


People Before Profit Councillors propose new green policy

At at special meeting on the County Development Plan in Dun Laoghaire tonight, a People Before Profit motion on a policy that will see green roofs on all large developments was passed as part of the new County Development Plan.

All new developments over the size of 300sq meters must now have 60% grass and foliage cover on roofs in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area.

karl gillSpeaking at the meeting Cllr Karl Gill of People Before Profit commented: “This is a really important step for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown to take. Large buildings will now have to adhere to this policy where they will have to construct their roof space with grass and foliage which will greatly assist in terms of preventing flooding and helping drainage systems. It will also help in terms of protecting local biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions due to lower need for usage of heating systems.

Its high time that local authorities expressed bravery in taking similar steps, we need to stop dragging our heels on environmentally friendly policies and just get on with it. All round I am happy that council management have accepted to my proposal for this policy and I imagine that we will soon see its benefits”

€3 per week on the state pension will not reverse the desperate situation pensioners find themselves in

In a statement People Before Profit has said that the increase of €3 per week to the state pension is nothing more than a pittance and a drop in the ocean in regards to reversing the dire circumstances that pensioners in this country find themselves in.

Over successive budgets in the life time of this government pensioners have seen their pensions cut, home help hours reduced by 600,000 hours and removal of the phone allowance. According to Alone pensioners are now €700 worse off per year than in 2008.

cllrjohnlyonsCllr John Lyons of People Before Profit said: “It is disgraceful to see the government patting themselves on the back as if this was a successful budget. The reality is that for pensioners this budget will not reverse the desperate situation that they find themselves in. A rise of €3 per week is an affront to the people who have worked all their lives and given great service to this country.

“The fact is that over the last five regressive budgets pensioners have been dealt the cruelest of blows and the tiny increase in the state pension will be meaningless at the end of the day when water charges, the local property tax and the increasing cost of living are taken into account within the context of the multiple cuts that pensioners have endured. Age Action has said that an older person relying on the state pension and household benefit package have seen their income cut by €13 a week since 2009. Budget 2016 did very little to reverse this.

“What should have seen on budget day was the restoration of the telephone allowance, full restoration of the Christmas bonus, an increase of the living alone allowance, a restoration of the fuel allowance to 2008 levels,  an increase the state pension by €5 per week, the reinstatement of home help hours in full and the abolition of prescription charges.

“Pensioners in this country are now €700 worse off per year, according to Alone. This is unacceptable. It is a hallmark of this government that they have attacked the most vulnerable in this society over the last number of budgets, in this case pensioners. What is disgraceful is that in this budget they have given them as little back as possible and act as if they are champions of the elderly.

“It really shows what kind of society the government are willing to stand over. They are willing to cut the benefits of the most vulnerable in our society, people who have shaped this country. These are the people we need to protect. We need to look after our pensioners and this government is not doing that.”

Public Meeting to be held in Sallynoggin on  Monday 19th at 7.30pm

karl gillIn a meeting today between the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Dun LaoghaireRathdown County Councillors, including People Before Profit Councillor Karl Gillthe NTA has stated that a number of proposed changes by Dublin Bus may now not be going ahead as intended. 

The good news is that there will be no changes to 59 and 45a, the 7 will stay in Blackrock and the 111 will be retained.  But questions still remain on No.7 in Sallynoggin.

Officials from the NTA have promised:
Sallynoggin will still have a link to Dublin city and St. Vincent’s Hospital – but it is not clear if this will be the 7 as we know it.

  • No.7 to remain in Blackrock Village 
  • No changes to the no.59 in Killiney Village
  • The 111 to be retained and extended to Loughlinstown Hospital and Brides Glen
  • The 45a to remain unchanged
  • There may be a bus going on the Sallyglen Road
  • Numbers of buses to Loughlinstown remain curtailed

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Government throws a few measly crumbs while giant corporations and NAMA developers are the real winners

budget speech - CopyIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance has described today’s budget as a bag of “pre-election tricks” and “crumbs” that will “do nothing to stem the dire crises in housing and hospitals” and which “utterly fails to address the huge growth in inequality and unfairness that has resulted from seven years of austerity and regressive measures such as property and water taxes”.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, the very small additional funding for social housing and the health service were “totally inadequate and tokenistic and would guarantee that the crisis in housing and in our hospitals would be worse again in a year’s time”.

Deputy Boyd Barrett described it as “disgraceful” that jobseekers, lone parents and carers were to see no increase in their basic weekly payments.  He said it was “particularly shameful” that jobseekers under 26 were to see no increase on their half rate payment.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said “the real winners are the biggest corporations who are to be given a new tax break worth billions in the form of the new ‘knowledge box’ 6.25% corporate tax rate”, and private developers who are to be assisted by NAMA to profit from the current housing crisis.”

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