Archive for February, 2016


aaa pbpAt a press conference in Buswell’s Hotel today, the Anti-Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) declared that the weekend’s opinion polls showed that the potential exists in this election to replace the Labour Party with a real left which will not betray the trust of the people they represent.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said “The decline in support for the establishment parties seen in opinion polls is a sign of the huge political disillusionment that people feel with these parties and a seismic shift in the political landscape of this country. The opportunity exists now for a historic move beyond civil-war politics. This is seen most in the drop in support for the Labour Party which is now in wipe-out territory. This is an ongoing process and stems from the implementation of brutal austerity policies which have sacrificed workers and public services to bail out bankers and speculators.

“What we saw over the weekend was a spectacular demonstration of people power against, not just water charges, but the failed policies of this government; the betrayal, the corruption, the cronyism and the broken promises. It is clear that people have risen from the battering of austerity and are now fighting back against Fine Gael and EU enforced policies which have been shamefully supported by the Labour Party.”

“Workers, young people and oppressed groups are now looking for a political alternative that is opposed to austerity and puts forward radical proposals for the re-shaping of society like the ideas of sharing wealth and corporations to build homes, to fund our health system and our education system. The opportunity exists to build a real left force to replace the Labour Party, and avoids the mistakes of political betrayal and coalition with right-wing parties which has finished Labour as a force for working class people.”

Continue reading

People Before Profit launch Decent Jobs: Employment and Labour Rights Manifesto

State must play a role in creating jobs

pbp employment doc

Click to read Policy

People Before Profit held a press conference this morning launching their Decent Jobs: Employment and Labour Rights Manifesto. Attending the launch were Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Cllr Bríd Smith and Cllr John Lyons.

Richard Boyd Barrett said- “The current government are claiming that there is a recovery underway. What they are conveniently forgetting is the deterioration of wages and conditions of workers and the neutering of union representation since the Celtic Tiger. Under the guise of competitiveness we are seeing a race to the bottom. This is making life unaffordable for workers through the cost of accommodation and regressive charges like property tax and water charges.

“Many workers in Ireland today find themselves in precarious and low paid jobs. New teachers for example spend an average of seven years on insecure contracts before being made permanent. There is also policy, directly endorsed by the government, of age discrimination. New entrants to the public sector are paid less than those starting before January 2011.

“We have also seen Ireland become one of the standard bearers of low wage economies. In 2014 the OECD reported Ireland as having the second highest level of low-paying jobs; second only to the US.

“People Before Profit propose a different vision for our economy and our workers. Increased pay is what is needed for workers which in turn will boost the economy.

“We believe in strong unions that are based on empowering the grassroots. The political control of unions like SIPTU by the Labour Party must end. We have proposed a number of measures that we feel will empower the unions to make effective representation for their members.

“We feel that a fairer recovery is possible. The recovery that is being boasted about by the current government is not being felt by the vast majority of our population. A recovery based on low wages, the casualisation of labour, precarious contracts and substandard conditions is not a real recovery. We are campaigning for a recovery for the 99%- those who got sold out by this government and the previous Fianna Fail-Green Party government. We are calling and end to the exploitative JobsBridge scheme and other similar models which make young people work for free with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. We believe that work must pay.”
Continue reading

People power wins the day at county development plan meeting
 
Local TD asks “Is this bye bye to Monster cruise ships in our harbour?”
harbourIn a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, welcomed the decision of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillors to vote to protect Dun Laoghaire Harbour and asks if this could be the end of plans for monster cruise ships in our Harbour.  
In the final draft of the County Development Plan, the Chief Executive attempted to overturn proposals by Cllr Melisa Halpin to protect the Harbour from mega cruise liners and to limit building heights within the harbour.
Residents of the county, harbour users and a number of campaign groups have been campaigning for the last year to ensure that only small cruise ships will be allowed come into Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Campaigners believe that spending €18 million on a new cruise berth in the Harbour is a dangerous gamble and the first step on the road to privatisation.  According to a council report – the cruise berth and other harbour projects would be financed by private apartments within the harbour.
Campaigners want to see the harbour developed as a working harbour that balances both the commercial and the leisure aspects of the harbour.
The plan for a new cruise berth for the harbour is currently being considered by An Bord Pleanala and the Board will have to be cognisant of the new commitments in the County Development Plan in their deliberations.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD and chair of Save Our Seafront said: “I am delighted that the proposals that councillor Melisa Halpin has been championing have been passed by such a great majority. It is yet another victory for People Power in the battle to Save Our Seafront and Harbour.  When we started our fight to protect our Harbour for the people, only a handful of councillors supported us,  It is a testimony to all the people who campaigned and lobbied for the last year that the vote to preclude mega cruise liners from the Harbour was won last night by 30 votes to 7.
We now await the decision from An Bord Pleanala but we are hopeful that this might be the end of this madcap plan to spend €18 million on one single project that is highly likely to become a white elephant because Dublin Port will be competing with it.”

Community Protest in Dun Laoghaire town over cut to Youth Drug Outreach Group

Protest at 1.30pm on Sunday the 21st of February – meeting at the Church wall in Dun Laoghaire

Local People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett says: “The Community Sector across the country is under attack and no one is listening – it’s high time people took a stand”

The Oasis project has been operating in Mounttown, Dun Laoghaire since 1996. Following a recent review of the service the HSE has decided to remove this group’s funding.
20 years of local knowledge and the respect that these outreach workers have gained within the community has been completely undermined and disregarded. This comes on top of a cut of up to 60% of funding for DROP (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Outreach Project) due to a decision by the Drug’s Task Force.

Due to government policy market mechanisms and managerialism has made its way into the community sector. This has resulted in longstanding projects such as Oasis that actually work being closed down.
People Before Profit co-hosted a meeting with the project workers on February 10th where it was agreed to mount a campaign to restore this community service, a protest was held in Mounttown on Friday 12th February.
Richard Boyd Barrett went on to say: “The cut to the Oasis project and DROP is an utter scandal. We have all this guff from the government about recovery and yet here they are allowing a real community project be slashed – a project that is actually helping vulnerable young people. Whoever took this decision should be ashamed of themselves. We need to get everyone who cares about our young people to get on the streets in Dun Laoghaire this Sunday. And this is not just about this particular cut – its about youth a drug projects throughout this country being slaughtered by people who neither understand or care about our young people”.

Right2Water Protest this weekend

r2water feb 2016

People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett on the Leaders Debate last night on RTE said that thousands of hospital beds have been closed down and that AAA/PBP are proposing a NHS-style system. He says the most expenditure on health anywhere in the world is in the US, but they have some of the worst outcomes with millions having no healthcare. In contrast, in Britain far less money goes to private coffers.

He said that “we don’t need ‘market mechanisms’ in the health service and the irony of the government talking about care in the community is that local services have been cut, leading to chaos in larger centres.” It was also unacceptable that new teachers and nurses are getting such low pay.

On the economy, Boyd Barrett says that in the first instance the next government should ensure that corporations actually pay the full 12.5% rate, rather than 2% and that AAA/PBP will target wealth in place of water charges.

Richard finished up by saying that “AAA/PBP want to see a society based on real solidarity, where the wealth is shared in an equal way. We want to end the discrimination of women who can’t control their own bodies by repealing the Eight Amendment, end the discrimination of the youth and of the disabled. We want to end Civil War politics and the golden circle of cronyism.”

Find out more about People Before Profit General Election 2016 candidates in your area here:

pbplogo75

http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.ie/general-election-candidates/

People Before Profit launch Manifesto on Youth and Equality

Systematic discrimination against young people driving them from this country

pbp youthPeople Before Profit today launched their manifesto on Youth and Equality. Ireland is a very unequal society and discrimination against young people is endemic in government policy. This government policy and systemic inequality is driving our young people out of this country. People Before Profit have a different vision for our society. We want a society where young people can fulfill their lives; where young people can work and live with dignity. 

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said “This country has systemic discrimination against young people etched into its very fabric. Inequality amongst the youth of this nation is rife and it is quite clear that the political establishment do not understand the needs of our youth. “youth manifesto

Discrimination is officially inscribed in state policy through a number of mechanisms. First, new entrants – who will tend to be younger- are paid less for doing the same work. Someone who starts work as a nurse, teacher, guard or administrative workers is paid less than those who started before January 1st 2011. They are doing the exact same work and there is no justification for this discrimination. (Originally it was 10% less pay but even after some ‘consolidation’ it remains less) Second, there is discrimination in pension provision. Young people have to work longer before retirement and get a ‘career average pension’ as against a pension based on final year of service. Third, young people are discriminated against in social welfare rates.

“The HSE is a disaster due to the for-profit health system that this government have prioritised. This system is not only horrendous for patients who have to avail of it but also our health staff. 95% of newly qualified student nurses say they will emigrate abroad because they do not see any prospects for themselves in this country. What we need to do is employ 10,000 nurses in the HSE and reopen the beds that the government have closed. We need to make work pay for these nurses and we need proper working conditions for nurses so that they can deliver the best quality of healthcare to patients. Continue reading

christy gigPeople Before Profit presents Christy Moore in concert.
A Fundraiser for Richard Boyd Barrett’s election campaign.

Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott. Poet Dave Lordan and some special guests.

The election is just around the corner and we have a battle on our hands to keep a radical left voice for Dun Laoghaire in the Dail. So we hope you can join us for a wonderful night of music and poetry for an important cause.

Doors open at 7pm and the show will start at 8pm sharp.

sold out

Tickets 25 euros. On sale in People Before Profit Office, 91 Lwr Georges St, Dun Laoghaire and in Keegan’s Footwear, Level 2, Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre. Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/769669066500110/

For further info:
pbpadunl@gmail.com or phone: 086 0685549

manifestoPeople Before Profit today launched their Manifesto for General Election 2016. Attending the launch were Richard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire), Gino Kenny (Dublin Mid-West), Bríd Smith (Dublin South Central) and John Lyons (Dublin Bay North).

Richard Boyd Barrett spoke about the wealth gap in Irish society that must be decreased; he said- “This election is a massive opportunity for the people of this country to make a fundamental change in the direction of Irish society. Currently we have a situation where wealth is being transferred from the majority of people to the minority- the most wealthy. We are proposing a progressive taxation system that will tax those earning over €100,000 on a sliding scale basis. We will make the corporations pay the corporate tax rate of 12.5%. We would introduce a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions. This money, along with the estimated €8-17 billion owed to this State by Apple, would be used to reduce inequality, fund vital public services such as health, education and generally move us towards a fairer society”.

pbp launchSpeaking about the massive levels of inequality in Irish society; Bríd Smith said- “We live in a deeply unequal society. In our schools we have an admissions policy that is faith based- this is totally discriminatory. A family should be able to send their child to whatever school they want and not have to be concerned if the child is baptized, or of any faith or none. We will stop the discrimination in our schools by removing religious patronage. We also support the demands of the Travelling community to get full legal recognition as an ethnic minority and to their right to properly funded appropriate accommodation.”

“Women in this country are also treated as second class citizens. We must repeal the 8th amendment because it equates the life of a woman with the life of a foetus. We must legislate for a woman’s right to choose. As it stands now in Ireland men have the ability of absolute bodily autonomy and the right to make whatever decision they want with their bodies. The 8th amendment denies women from bodily autonomy. We are making the call for the full repeal of the 8th amendment”.

Gino Kenny spoke about People Before Profit’s housing policy; he said- “The issue of homelessness is the one of the biggest issues in General Election 2016. The government of Fine Gael and Labour have presided over this crisis which has gotten worse under their watch. In our manifesto we have outlined our alternative housing programme. We would call for a national housing emergency to be declared in regard to homelessness. We would build 50,000 social houses, 10,000 per year for the next five years. We would force NAMA to hand over 20,000 of its residential stock for the purpose of social housing. We would end the discriminatory practice of ‘rent allowance not accepted’.”

John Lyons spoke about the health system and some of the proposals People Before Profit have developed, he said-

“Our health system is crumbling. Under this government the numbers of people on trolleys has gone up drastically. Our young nurses are having to emigrate. People are on very long waiting lists for serious operations. We have a cartel of insurance companies, in league with the government, making vast profits of this situation. 

“We envisage a health system like the NHS in the UK that is free at the point of use and available to everyone. We believe that health care is a right and access to it should be determined by how sick one is not the size of one’s wallet. We are calling for a constitutional amendment to prevent the privitisation of our health service. We need to develop our capacity for preventative medicine- which in the long run would pay for itself”.

Read Manifesto HERE

People Before Profit to Host Public meeting with Oasis, Wednesday 10th at 8pm, Mounttown Community Facility
The Oasis outreach service workers walk the greater Monkstown Farm area late at night talking to groups of young people about drugs and other important issues, they link them in with other local services and regularly host workshops and day trips for local teenagers.
National Right2Water demo Dublin 21/03/2015 © Paula GeraghtyIn a statement Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “It is totally scandalous that this outreach project, that has been operating in the area since 1996 should just be scrapped because of some arbitrary decisions by people who have no local knowledge and clearly no care for teenagers with drug addiction needs. This comes on top of a 60% slash of the funding for DROP who work with adults and teens in Dun Laoghaire town.”

There was no public consultation with the community or with those engaging with the service before the HSE decided to axe this invaluable project. Any new project couldn’t possibly replace the years of local knowledge and expertise that the Oasis Outreach workers brought to the job. The HSE created arbitrary criteria and along with Southside Partnership, they tested Oasis to see whether it met their new requirements. They decided it didn’t and wiped it out altogether with no plan for a replacement service.

 

We are asking people to get organised and challenge this cut and come to the meeting in Mounttown Community Facility at 8pm on Wednesday the 10th“.