Fine Gael and Fianna Fail playing pathetic political games while social emergency in housing and health rages out of control and issues such as water charges and the 8th amendment need urgently to be addressed.

AAA-PBP used the nomination process to highlight the need for immediate action on urgent social issues and propose motion calling for an end to all sales of NAMA land and property to vulture funds.

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fail of “playing pathetic political games” while the housing and homelessness crisis and the crisis in public hospitals escalates out of control.

Deputy Boyd Barrett was speaking after today’s Dail debate and vote on the nomination of a Taoiseach, where he nominated Deputy Ruth Coppinger for the position of Taoiseach.

Deputy Boyd Barrett stressed that AAA-PBP were under no illusions about Deputy Coppinger being elected for the position of Taoiseach but were simply using the nomination process as an opportunity to highlight the need for urgent action on issues, such as the escalating housing emergency, the crisis in public hospitals, water charges and repeal of the 8th amendment.

In his Dail speech today, Deputy Boyd Barrett called on the acting Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to instruct NAMA to immediately halt any sales of its land or property portfolio’s to vulture funds, REIT’s or private equity funds. AAA-PBP have placed an emergency motion to this effect on today’s Dail order paper.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The political farce that has ensued since the general election has now reached biblical proportions. For 40 days and 40 nights now, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have engaged in a pathetic political charade, while huge numbers of our citizens are left suffering in the wilderness – blighted by a rapidly escalating housing crisis and an equally disastrous and worsening situation in our public hospitals.

This cynical and ridiculous political manoeuvring by the two biggest parties of the political establishment needs to end now, so that we can get on with the business of addressing the real and urgent issues facing our citizens.

Much as we would like now to be in discussions with others on the left about the possibility of forming a left government, the left, however you define them, simply do not have the numbers. It is up to those who have the numbers to get on with it and stop messing the people of this country around.

What is particularly frustrating is that the political game now being played by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail does not revolve, for the most part, on substantial political differences. There is little, if any difference between the two parties in policy terms. What is at stake for them is power not policy and, indeed, that motivation is precisely what is so rotten in the culture of the Irish political establishment.

In contrast, People Before Profit and the AAA wished to use today’s Dail debate to demand urgent and radical action on social emergencies in housing, homelessness and the public health system. We need to abandon immediately the failed policy of relying on the private profit driven market to provide social and affordable housing when it self-evidently has failed to do so, and when that reliance has actually generated the current housing and homelessness disaster. In this regard, we are calling today on Michael Noonan to immediately instruct NAMA to cease all sales of land and property to violate funds and to turn all its efforts and resources towards directly providing council and affordable housing for our citizens.
We also demand more resources and staff for our public hospitals to undo the savage cuts of recent years- cuts that have led to the obscene spectacle of ambulances queuing up outside a hospital in Sligo, unable even to get patients in need of urgent care inside the doors of the hospital.
Finally, we demand that other parties and independents in the Dail urgently honor the clearly expressed mandate of the people to abolish the hated water charges and repeal the 8th amendment, which continues to jeopardise the lives, health and welfare of women in this country.