People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, will be attending a forum on the homelessness and housing crisis today in the Customs House. The cross party event will be convened by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly. According to the Simon Community the housing crisis has worsened substantially since December 2014 with the number of people in emergency accommodation going up by 50% and the number of children increased by 100%. The forum will take place at the Customs House today.
Richard Boyd Barrett said “I, representing People Before Profit, am attending this meeting in good faith. I hope that this forum is a meaningful effort to get a cross party initiative underway to address the chronic issue of homelessness and lack of housing in this country.
“We have seen only today that the numbers of children that are homeless in this state is 1,616 and the number of families is almost at 800, 790 to be exact. In this the year of centenary celebrations of 1916 it is clear that we have not realised the aspirations of the revolutionaries of the Rising. Addressing the issue of homelessness and the housing crisis has to be top priority for the next government.
“I hope that these discussions are meaningful and not just window dressing. I also hope that the government’s proposals will not be just rehashing of their previous policies to stimulate and prop up private developers. We need affirmative action now to deal with this desperate situation- that means declaring a housing emergency, a massive social and affordable house building programme by the state and a cap on rents to name but a few measure that must be taken.
Today a demonstration was held by the Scrap Water Charges Now group outside the Dáil. People Before Profit were one of the groups supporting the protest.
Richard Boyd Barrett with fellow TDs Brid Smith & Gino Kenny
Richard Boyd Barrett said “What we have seen is a massive resistance to the implementation of water charges through the mass boycott of the bills and the huge mobilisations of people. Water charges are hanging by a thread. The election and the continued boycott of bills has rocked the establishment and a crushing blow has been landed against the whole project of Irish Water.
“The protests and boycott of the bills, along with the shift of voters in the general election has fundamentally changed Irish politics. We are beginning to move away from civil war politics and towards a politics based on principals and issues.
“We are calling for whatever government is formed in the next number of weeks to scrap water charges and abolish Irish Water. This must be a red-line issue for the next government. What we can see now is that the vast majority of people are not paying and the numbers of people who are cancelling their direct debits with Irish Water is increasing every day. Irish Water is near to being defeated- this is a huge feat for the people in this country and for people power.”
Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit to nominate Richard Boyd Barrett for Taoiseach to outline positive left vision for Ireland
Today the Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit will nominate Richard Boyd Barrett for Taoiseach.
In a statement this morning AAA-PBP announced that it will nominate Richard Boyd Barrett for Taoiseach to outline a positive vision for Ireland.
Bríd Smith TD said “We in the Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit are putting Richard forward in this vote to emphasize that a new left is rising in Ireland and that there is now real a left wing option for people. We are highlighting that there is an historic opportunity to move beyond the failed civil war politics of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and to outline an alternative vision for Ireland. We have a positive vision- one which is based on issues and principles.”
With or without Irish water and water charges, fixing the water infrastructure will cost billions and be paid by the public – the question is how we pay.In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for AAA-People Before Profit has said that the claim made today that abolishing water charges and Irish Water would cost €7 billion is “totally misleading and pure scaremongering.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “With or without water charges and Irish Water, we need to spend billions on fixing the water infrastructure over the coming years and that will be paid for by the public. That has never been disputed by those of us campaigning against water charges – despite the deliberate attempts of the government to mislead the public and misrepresent our position. The issue at stake is: what is the fairest and most efficient way to fix the water infrastructure?