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Local Elections: Left And Environmental Councillors Call For Vote For Those Offering A Real Alternat
politics / elections |
Wednesday May 20, 2009 20:33 by PBPA - People Before Profit Alliance info at peoplebeforeprofit dot ie 087 6775468
Councillors call for jobs, high quality public services, environmental protection and real democracy, not bail-outs for bankers and developers.
At a press conference today a group of left, environmental and independent councillors and activists called on the public to vote for candidates in the local elections who offer a genuine alternative to the failed policies of the establishment parties.
They are confident of winning a number of seats around the country and are committed to working together to lay the basis for a new political force to emerge.
The Councillors, which include Chris O Leary (Former Green party, Cork), Catherine Connolly (Former Labour Party, Galway), Declan Bree (Former Labour Party, Sligo), Seamus Healy (on behalf of the Workers and Unemployed Action Group, South Tipperary) and Joan Collins (People Before Profit, Dublin City Council)
said that the purely profit driven policies promoted by Fianna Fail and supported by the Greens have wrecked the economy. The alternative offered by Fine Gael and Labour would be no better. Fine Gael intends even more savage cut-backs in public services and they refuse point blank to call for taxes on wealth. There is no future for the left in doing deals with parties beholden to big business and failed economic doctrines.
The only way to address the current crisis and eliminate the gross inequalities in our society, is to take the wealth -the banks, natural resources, building land - into public ownership and impose a tax regime that closes the gap between rich and poor. Jobs, public services, socially useful industry, and the needs of ordinary people must be the priority not the wealth and profits of a minority. Environmental protection can only be guaranteed by a publicly accountable planning system, which halts unregulated and purely profit driven development.
The Councillors said that the current political situation demands radical change in Ireland.
“We are not interested in doing deals with the political parties which have failed time and time again to address the issues that affect working people, the unemployed and the poor. We will work to support all those who want to organise for real change rather than engaging in back room deals with City and County managers.
The anger of Irish society must find positive outlets. We urge people to vote for left, and environmental candidates who seek to genuinely challenge the political establishment and send a message that a new wind of change is blowing through this country. We are committed to working together to give political expression to those who want real change.”
The Councillors said they will support the following:
• Nationalisation of the banking system. The credit system should be used to eliminate financial speculation and to support job creation.
• A fair tax system. We want a levy on the wealthy and the abolition of all tax
loopholes. Introduce a higher tax rate for top earners
• Investment in public services such as health, education and public transport. Give free access to health and education as a right and reverse the cuts.
• Halt privatisation – Improve local services. End inefficient and expensive outsourcing of key Council services. Expand direct Labour to provide efficient services and boost employment.
• Action on unemployment. Use the skills of unemployed workers to build the houses, schools and hospitals and community projects we badly need. Unemployed workers should be guaranteed retraining and access to education.
• Action on housing. Use empty homes held by developers and speculators for social housing and community facilities. No evictions and a freeze on mortgages repayments for those who have lost their jobs.
• Action on energy. A radical programme to develop green energy and a national scheme of housing insulation to allow for energy saving. The Corrib gas field should be taken into public ownership.
• All decisions affecting local communities should be taken by elected councillors. Directly elected Mayors or Council Chairpersons should replace Council managers and regular public forums should be held to hold Councillors accountable. The salaries of City and County managers should be capped.
• Opposition to local charges. Local service should be funded by a fair central tax system.
• The needs of communities must come before the needs of developers. Community facilities, regeneration and social and affordable housing should be provided as a right and not through deals with developers.
For more information contact: Eddie Conlon 087 6775468
The Workers and Unemployed Action Group currently holds 3 seats on Clonmel Corporation and 2 on South Tipperary County Council, They are running 6 candidates for 9 seats on Clonmel Corporation (contesting 5 seats), South Tipperary County Council (contest 3 seats) and Carrick On Suir Urban District Council (contesting 1seat)
The People Before Profit Alliance is running 14 candidates for seats on the following councils Dublin City (6), South Dublin (2), Dun Laoghaire Rathdown (2), Waterford City (1), Tralee Town Council (1), Dundalk Town Council (1) and Roscommon County Council (1).