Archive for May, 2016

EU guilty of blatant double standards- no fines for human rights breaches

IMG_0583In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit, has condemned reports that the EU commission is threatening to fine Ireland following the Irish people’s rejection of domestic water charges. Deputy Boyd Barrett described the recently announced EU ruling on water as an “outrageous subversion of democracy”.

Richard Boyd Barrett said “This is an outrageous and scandalous threat by the EU Commission. This is designed to try to intimidate the people of this country. This is yet another example of the subversion of democracy in the EU. The people of this country have flat out rejected domestic water charges and the EU commission should realise that that is final.

“It is shameful to note that the EU is willing to impose penalties to undermine democratic decisions made by the people in this country in relation to water and will attempt no such enforcement of other matters. Human rights issues such as repeal of the 8th amendment, the continuation of Direct Provision, Ireland’s allocation of refugees or young people being put in adult mental health wards have not been addressed. It is clear as to who the EU Commission represents.

“I question the motives of the EU Commission in making this threat. This shows the EU as an enforcer of corporate interests and a bosses club that is allergic to democracy.”

People Before Profit are holding a press conference today to highlight a motion that they are putting to the Dail to abolish the Financial Emergency in the Public Interest legislation (FEMPI).

Where: Buswell’s Hotel

When: Wednesday, 1st June (Today)

Time: 10am

The motion has been signed by Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit TD’s (Bríd Smith, Richard Boyd Barrett, Gino Kenny, Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry), Independents 4 Change TD’s (Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace and Tommy Broughan), Catherine Connolly TD, Seamus Healy TD, and Thomas Pringle TD.

The motion seeks to abolish FEMPI totally.

There will be in attendance at the press conference workers who have been affected by FEMPI, Bríd Smith TD, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Gino Kenny TD, Clare Daly TD, Seamus Healy TD, Ruth Copinger TD and Senator Gerard Craughwell.

Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group

“Use Glass Bottle site for social housing council and affordable housing”

Time for NAMA to support those in need- Not the wealthy

13325709_481382325400956_7137671613035013436_nIGB Site MARCH took place on Saturday 28th May from  Clanna Gael Fontenoy on the Sean Moore road, right next to the IGB site, and walked to the Custom House,making it’s way through Irishtown, Ringsend, Pearse Street, over Butt Bridge and finishing on Gardiner Street Lower.

Annette Mooney spokeswoman of the Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group said, “There is a huge housing crisis in Dublin and NAMA land must be used to solve it. The easiest way to do this is to build council housing for those who cannot afford to buy a home. I“It is time to stop the sense of entitlement that pervades the golden circle that surrounds NAMA. Those in need are now crying out for ‘Home for People Not Profit’. It is time their voices were heard”.

Architect, Mark Price, said,“With 25,000 people on Dublin’s housing list, this is a golden opportunity to radically change Irish housing policy. NAMA must be instructed to develop this site for public good and not for private profit. “The Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group is preparing a report on the housing needs of the area. They are working with a group of volunteer architects and planners to draw up a viable alternative plan for the site, which can be implemented for the good of the area and the city, and not parceled out to private investors for profit.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, of People Before Profit said, “The people of this country own NAMA. The vast bulk of NAMA land and houses, including the Irish Glass Bottle site, should be used to deliver council and affordable housing.Given the enormous housing crisis under no circumstances should the vast majority of this site be sold off for development in the open market at market prices. The whole point of the current situation is that failed
government policy and a dysfunctional housing market has made housing unaffordable and unattainable for ordinary people.”

Alan Kelly’s Environmental credentials blown apart as government forced under pressure to abandon recycling charge.

CifeXlqWsAAx6e0In a statement Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the PBP alliance welcomed the government’s decision this morning to back down on the plan of former environment Minister Alan Kelly to impose for the first time charges on Green Bin recycled waste, following the recent launch of a campaign by the People Before Profit Alliance calling for the policy to be reversed.

The decision of the government to back down to the demands of People Before Profit to rescind the Green Waste charge plan also comes after People Before Profit Councillor Melisa Halpin proposed a motion to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on the 9th May which was passed unanimously.

Richard Boyd Barrett said; ‘’I’m delighted that the campaign by People Before Profit over recent weeks has forced the government to back out of Alan Kelly’s disgraceful plan to introduce for the first time charges on Green Bin recycled waste.

This decision which has clearly been forced on the government following our campaign of recent weeks blows apart any environmental credentials that former Minister Alan Kelly might have claimed to have. Alan Kelly’s plan could only have benefited and was almost certainly prompted by the private for profit waste industry. It would have done immense damage to the environment by effectively removing the incentive for householders to recycle green waste.

The fact that Alan Kelly even attempted such an environmentally regressive measure shows the urgent need to take waste collection and recycling services back into full public ownership and control. It is obvious that the private waste companies do not give a damn about recycling or the environment – they only care about profit.

However the fact that the government have backed down shows the effectiveness of the new and larger left both in the Dail and in local authorities. This is a big victory for the environment, common sense and a politics that puts people and the environment before profit’’.

People Before Profit has launched a campaign calling for the new green bin charges to be scrapped

CifeXlqWsAAx6e0It was introduced by former environment minister Alan Kelly in the last weeks of his ministry. Richard Boyd Barrett TD said it was an “absolutely disgraceful” action by Mr Kelly.

He said that the move will be “extremely damaging” to the environment, discourage people from recycling and encourage more illegal dumping.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the only beneficiaries would be private and for-profit waste operators which would result in “environmental sabotage”.

Mr Kelly previously stated that the new charge would reduce costs for 87% of homeowners if they sort their waste properly, but Mr Boyd Barrett said: “I don’t think we can believe Alan Kelly at all”.

He said if the charges are introduced, it shows extreme environmental hypocrisy on Mr Kelly’s part. The party claims the charges, introduced by former Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, are “environmental sabotage”.

New pay by weight fees for recycling are due to take effect in July, a move the party says is for profit interests rather than environmental concerns.

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, says the service should remain free of charge. She said: “We haven’t up to now been charged for recycling, we haven’t paid for the recycling content of the green bin, and there’s a reason for that. “It is because recycling is good for the environment and now we are told that we must pay for it when it in itself generates a profit. So the activity of people separating their rubbish and putting it into green bins rather than everything into a black bin creates a profit for the companies that collect it.”

People Before Profit to campaign against Infrastrata exploratory drill near Woodburn Reservoir in Co. Antrim

MLA and TD hit out at ‘cloak and dagger’ tactic by authorities in allowing this drill to take place; implications for South

People Before Profit to move Bill to ban fracking in the Dáil once it resumes

Cllr Gerry Carroll, People Before Profit, Belfast City Council

Gerry Carroll MLA, People Before Profit, West Belfast

People Before Profit MLA, Gerry Carroll and TD, Richard Boyd Barrett condemn moves to initiate fracking in Co Antrim and warned if test drills go ahead it could open the door for fracking North and South. The statement comes after NI Water’s decision to allow Infrastrata to begin drilling for oil just 380 metres away from Woodburn reservoir in Co Antrim. This could lead to UK company, Tramboran, attempting to drill in Fermanagh, which in turn, could lead to fracking in Leitrim and Cavan.

Gerry Carroll said: “We are concerned that streets in West Belfast and across Belfast could be impacted by this drill. The decision by NI water to allow drilling to take place just 380 metres from the reservoir is a scandal, with no thought whatsoever given to the potential impact on the region’s water supply. This could affect tens of thousands of homes across Antrim. A leak near the Carrickfergus reservoir would have a disastrous effect for the people living in the surrounding area.

“NI water is the regulating body tasked with providing clean, hygienic drinking water for people in the North. Yet they have given the go ahead for a major US oil company to begin drilling right next to one of our major reservoirs.”

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PBP TD condemns Howlin and Labour’s pathetic attacks on the left and denial about its own responsibiIMG_0583lity for Labour’s electoral melt-down.

Labour owe the public an apology for the homeless crisis and their litany of broken promises

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for AAA-People Before Profit Alliance, has condemned former Minister Brendan Howlin and the Labour Party for comments made this morning on RTE’s Morning Ireland radio programme.

Deputy Boyd Barrett described Deputy Howlin’s attacks on AAA-PBP as “pathetic and dishonest,” and said that the Labour party and Deputy Howlin were in “arrogant denial of their own responsibility for Labour’s electoral melt-down” at the recent general election.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the Labour Party owed the public and those that voted for them in 2011, an unconditional apology for their betrayal of election promises and, in particular, for their direct responsibility for the homelessness and housing crisis.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was totally incredible that Labour could describe others on the left as being undemocratic, when it was the Labour party, who broke solemn electoral pledges made in the 2011 election on issues such as water charges, student fees, burning bondholders and protecting vulnerable sections of society from the impact of austerity.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said also that it was truly unbelievable that the Labour Party or Deputy Howlin should condemn protesting and street campaigning, when its founder’s James Connolly and James Larkin, had been among Ireland’s greatest proponents and champions of mass street mobilisation.

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People Before Profit demand rent controls, rent allowance increase and an emergency house building programme

People Before Profit have called on the Government to introduce rent controls immediately to help alleviate the situation in the private rental sector which is spiraling out of control.

According to the Daft report written by Ronan Lyons, released today rents in Dublin are now 1.3% higher than they were in early 2008. The report, points out that supply of housing is now at the lowest point on record.

img_4276Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “For years now we have been saying that the situation in the private rented sector is spiraling out of control. Today, we have seen clear evidence of this due to the releasing of the Daft report. Rents are now the highest they have been since 2008 and supply has never been lower. The proposed rent allowance increase of 15% will not keep up with the increasing rent prices in the country. Peter Mc Verry says a minimum 28% increase is needed to be even at the 2008 level.

“One of the most serious issues facing this country is the epidemic of the housing and homelessness crisis. We are now at crisis point with this crisis and the new Government, like the last, are just continuing with the same strategy. We pointed out years ago that the measures taken at the time by the Government would not work and low and behold the situation has not only not gotten better it has gotten worse.

““I am calling on Simon Coveney, as his first act as Housing Minister, to intervene in this dire situation and immediately introduce rent controls so that we can halt the ever increasing cost of rents and increase the rent allowance by 28%. But, fundamentally we need an emergency social house building programme that will house the homeless.

We also need to establish a new Rental Board that oversees rental prices according to transparent criteria, reduce rents where they do not meet these criteria and limit rent increases to the rate of inflation. NAMA must also stop selling off property portfolios to vulture funds and use it resources to house people.

“There remains a grave situation in this country where families are living in hotel rooms, drug infested hostels and in some cases cars. According to the Simon Community there has been a 12% increase in rough sleepers since Winter 2015. This scandalous situation cannot be allowed to go on. I am calling for the new Minister to take effective and holistic action immediately.