Archive for June, 2016

Fear of people power and protest is what’s pushing government to back-track on waste charges, say PBP.


In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance has urged the public to join a protest outside the Dail next Tuesday June 21st at 7pm to help secure the passing of a AAA-PBP motion directed at preventing the enormous hike in waste charges planned by private waste companies.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said fear of water charge scale protests was the only reason that Parties such as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, who previously supported the privatisation of waste services, we’re now back-tracking and promising action to rein in the waste charges companies.

The AAA-PBP motion will be debated in the Dail on Tuesday between 8pm and 10pm. The vote on the motion will take place next Thursday afternoon

Richard Boyd Barrett said:
” People power and protest is the key to defeating this outrageous attempt by greedy private waste companies to ratchet up household waste charges. It is absolutely obvious that that the government and political establishment, generally, are absolutely terrified by the prospect of water charge style protests on this issue of waste charge hikes. That’s the only reason they are now back-tracking on their own bankrupt waste charge policy.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were the people who privatised waste collection and opened up this essential service to the profiteering of the unscrupulous and greedy private waste companies, that we are now witnessing. The only reason they are now trying to disassociate themselves from the consequences of their own policies, is because they are afraid of another popular street rebellion. We cannot trust the parties who promoted privatisation to deal with the inevitable consequences of privatisation – that’s why it is absolutely vital that we get people out on the streets outside the Dail this week to ensure this motion is passed. Otherwise, the government will simply try and diffuse this issue and allow the waste companies to sneak these hikes in through the back door over the coming years.

So, we are appealing to people who are rightly furious about this unbelievable profiteering and extortion by the waste mafia, to get outside the Dail this Tuesday evening to force the government, Fianna Fáil and others to support this motion.”

Dail debate and vote to take place next week on AAA-PBP motion calling for immediate government action to prevent planned increase in waste charges

imageNext week, the Dail will debate and vote upon a AAA-PBP Private Members Motion calling for an immediate Ministerial order to prevent private waste companies from implementing the planned dramatic increases in household waste charges.

The motion submitted today by AAA-PBP will be debated in the Dail next Tuesday.

Bin charges are set to rise by between 100 and 200%. These charges will inflict an unsustainable burden for hard pressed households if the proposed increases by private waste companies are implemented and will undoubtedly lead to a dramatic increase in illegal dumping.

The motion seeks to prevent the private waste management companies from implementing the planned increases in price; ensure the Minster meets with the waste companies; ensure that standing charges cannot be increased in excess of the Consumer Price Index; implement maximum waste charges for the different types of bins and reinstate the waivers for pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, low-paid workers, those on social-welfare and people in receipt of Family Income Supplement.

Speaking on the AAA-PBP motion Brid Smith TD who was imprisoned for opposition to bin charges and who first raised the issue in the Dail said: “This motion if accepted will force the government to prevent these extortionate bin charge increase and prevent profiteering by private waste companies. It will ensure there is a maximum charge in respect to pay by weight. Continue reading

img_4276In the Dail this afternoon, People Before Profit TD, tackled the Minister for Health about the outrageous threat to the vocational services at St Augustines School in Blackrock.

St Augustine’s School is a successful school for children with learning disabilities with superior vocational services that has served children with special needs, not only in Blackrock but across the south city.

Recently parents and teachers have learned that their funding from the Dept of Health via St John of Gods is under threat.  This could see an end to the vocational development programme which includes Speech and Language Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and more.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “It is utterly unacceptable that these services would be lost to this school.  The services that are currently there are absolutely crucial for the children in this school.  The loss of these services will seriously undermine the life chances of these children.

“I welcome the Minister’s willingness to meet with representatives of the parents group but the rest of the answer was bureaucratic and did not recognise the seriousness of the issue.  The promise of extra SNA’s is not a replacement for the huge cut to the vocational supports in the school.”

Boyd Barrett continued: “I will continue to raise this issue at every level and work with everyone and anyone to try and save these services.”

Coveney is fast becoming Alan Kelly 2.0

SIMON COVENEYIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, of People Before Profit has said the recent housing announcement by Minister Simon Coveney is just a rehashing of the failed, market driven policies that have made the housing crisis worse.

The Ministers announcement for extra funds for servicing land equates to the same failed policies of providing more subsidies for developers and builders. The Minister says that more money is being provided and yet nothing has changed in regards to the housing crisis.

It is now clear that Minister Simon Coveney is fast becoming Alan Kelly 2.0 as his announcements replicate past announcements of former Minister Kelly- all talk and no action.

Mr Boyd Barrett said: “The latest announcement from Housing Minister Simon Coveney has alerted concerns that we have had that this Minister is quickly becoming Alan Kelly 2.0 in that he is rehashing failed and naive policies which will have no effect and will fail to improve the housing crisis in this country. The Minister is also suggesting that local authorities are bypassed in a move that will simply offer a bonanza to private developers and builders in which they would make a killing off publically owned land.

“It is obvious that the recent announcements by Minister Coveney equates to more subsidies for private developers and builders; the very people who caused this crisis in the first place. The current Minister has today announced that funding is not an issue. This is reminiscent of Alan Kelly overtures as Minister for Housing, during which nothing was done to resolve the crisis.

“In 2015, the government built 75 council houses in the whole of the state. This is outrageous and it is clear that 2016 will not be much better.

“The Minister, instead of putting his head in the sand and relying on old failed policies, should take on board our demands for tens of thousands of council houses to be built every year for the next five years at a minimum. If we do not take radical action now and use the state to build council houses, impose rent controls, uses NAMA’s resources to house people and declare a national housing emergency then this crisis is condemned to roll on and on and get worse.”

Drastic measures required due to short fall in funding and staffing levels

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit fully support the decision of the Psychiatric Nurses Association members to go on strike in reaction to chronically low staffing levels in hospital and community services. The members of the PNA have voted by a margin of 87% for strike action.

People Before Profit Industrial Relations spokesperson, Bríd Smith, said “the levels of staffing in psychiatric wards at both the hospital and community level are disastrously low. It is quite clear that the past government and the current government, have totally disregarded the importance of mental health services. What we in People Before Profit are saying is that the mental health budget should be doubled from 6% of the health budget to 12%. We are also calling for a massive increase in the field of mental health nursing.

“The PNA nurses are absolutely right to vote for strike action and further more I would call on all unions involved in the delivery of the health service to follow suit and ballot for strike action. A united front would pile real pressure on the government to implement the changes that are required for the health service and end the recruitment embargo.

“It is quite clear that the recruitment embargo needs to be stopped and new nurses should be employed immediately. We need to bring the numbers of mental health staff up to 12,000 immediately to deal with this situation. The embargo on recruitment has been disastrous for the health service in general and for mental health services in particular.

“Pay for nurses is also a massive factor that needs to be addressed if we are to stop nurses, newly qualified and current, from going to the UK. People Before Profit will be putting forward a motion in the Dail during Private Members Time to repeal the FEMPI legislation which has capped the pay of nurses and implemented a two-tier pay structure in the health service, and amongst all public servants.  We need to recruit more nurses and pay them properly.”