Solidarity- People Before Profit today launched their General Election 2020 campaign.
The group will concentrate on the glaring issues of the crisis’ in housing and health, Ireland’s response to the climate emergency and dealing with the spiralling cost of living in this country.
There is no doubt that there is a recovery in Ireland. But what is particularly galling is that in this recovery of profits for corporations, vulture funds, developers and property speculators, there is untold hardship being experienced by a huge proportion of the population of this country, specifically in the areas of housing and homelessness, access to healthcare, the unforgiving pressure of rip off Ireland and the climate emergency which has seen and ecological disaster and a global warming issues that will affect everyone.
Solidarity- People Before Profit wish to convey a message of a better, fairer and more inclusive Ireland- one where everyone has an affordable roof over their heads; healthcare is provided as a right; radical climate action measures are taken, which would also improve people’s lives; where people can live a fulfilling life while the sharp edge of the cost of living in this country is addressed and where childcare is affordable, and the interlocking of Church and State is once and for all unwoven.
Solidarity- People Before Profit would say to the electorate that it has been important to have principled socialists in the Dáil in order to keep a check on the government and to act as a watchdog, to sound the alarm when the government try to get away with grave injustices. A number one vote for a Solidarity- People Before Profit candidate is a vote for a principled socialist, who will fight for the interests of working people and will not use the peoples trust to prop up Fine Gael or Fianna Fail in order to access ministerial seat.
Specific demands from Solidarity- People Before Profit are:
Housing as a Human Right – Proper rent controls and security of tenure. Fight to stop the sell-off of public land. Propose a national construction company to build affordable houses and hold a referendum to enshrine a right to housing in the constitution
End the Two-Tier Health system. A national health service, free at the point of use, publicly owned and democratically run. Hire more frontline staff and increase pay to cut hospital waiting lists.
Move to radical Climate Action – For People and Planet. Free public transport and more buses. Provide proper grants to fund deep-retrofitting of houses. Stop the importation of fracked gas. Create a just transition for workers and farmers and put a carbon tax on the big polluters not on ordinary people.
A Fair Deal for the Elderly. Restore the pension Age to 65, increase the state pension to €260 a week and restore the transitional pension scheme.
Create a Living Wage and Job Security: Scrap Croke Park hours for public servants. We would also insist on increasing the minimum wage to a living wage of €15 an hour. Finally, we would abolish USC tax for those under €90,000 – introduce a High-Income charge for those over it.
Guarantee 33 hours Free Childcare per week. Cap fees at 3% of income and then move to a free service through a National Childcare Service.
Education for Lifelong Learning. Scrap third level fees raise the SUSI grants and eligibility thresholds. We would also insist on smaller class sizes in schools
Guarantee real equality for people with disability and Special Needs: Ensure public transport is accessible to all. Hire more Special Needs Assistants. Guarantee early assessment and intervention for autism and disabilities.
Abolish Unjust taxes and end Rip Off Insurance. Scrap the property tax on family homes. We would also propose a publicly owned insurance company to cut costs.
Proper funding for the Arts and Sports.
Solidarity- People Before Profit candidate for Dún Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “The Fine Gael and Fianna Fail partnership has failed us on all of the most basic things, housing, health, cost of living, and Ireland’s disaster failure to address climate change. This is particularly galling because we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Ordinary working people are not getting their fair share. We want to put people and planet before the profits of the wealthy corporations and billionaires.
Solidarity – People Before Profit candidate for Dublin West Ruth Coppinger TD said: “The likelihood is that the next government will be a Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael led government. Other parties who say they want to prioritise the likes of housing and climate are at the same time willing to trade away those priorities for seats at the cabinet table. Water charges and repeal were both good examples of the organising role of the left allied with people power movements exerting a decisive pressure on conservative governments. We want the biggest left possible in the next Dáil that will be a tribune for the movements that need to be built to respond to the housing and healthcare crisis and many other issues besides.”
Solidarity – People Before Profit candidate for Dublin South Central, Bríd Smith TD: We will fight to ensure that the pension age is brought back to 65 as a major pillar of our campaign. We have currently the longest pension age in Europe. We can see in France that people power was how French workers managed to fend off attempts to increase their pension age.”
Solidarity – People Before Profit candidate for Cork North Central Mick Barry TD said: “In this campaign we want to puncture the loud claims of the government about the recovery. The lived experience of working people is one of a serious cost of living crisis and failing public services while profits have rocketed. In addition to the points we have raised about raising taxes on wealth and profits we favour the initiative been taken by workers in the public and private sector to struggle for real cost of living pay increases.”
Solidarity – People Before Profit candidate for Dublin Mid West, Gino Kenny TD said: “We are for the ending of a two tier health system and we want to move to a National Healthcare System that is free at the point of use where healthcare is provided on medical need not the size of your wallet.
Solidarity – People Before Profit candidate for Dublin South West, Paul Murphy TD: “We need to act now to avoid climate catastrophe. There is no more time to lose tinkering around the edges, while the big polluters continue with business as usual. We need a Green New Deal with socialist policies, with free and frequent public transport, a Green Jobs Programme including renewable energy and deep retrofitting of homes, care jobs in health and education, a sustainable model of agriculture, and a four day work week with no loss of pay for workers. To ensure big business doesn’t block the necessary changes, we need democratic public ownership of the key sections of the economy. This would enable the planning of a rapid and just transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2030.”