Home > About Paddy Healy, Banks and the Economy, Croke Park Deal, Education, irish Politics, Public Service > Seanad Election can be Used to Fight Cuts in Public Services

Seanad Election can be Used to Fight Cuts in Public Services

Cuts in education, health and other public services are now in place. Much more are promised in the coming budget and in the following 3 budgets.

The Croke Park Deal facilitates such cuts. Over 2,500 nursing posts have been eliminated. Thousands of posts of responsibility delivering pastoral care are being eliminated in our schools. Lecturing posts are being eliminated reducing the service to third level students. Social workers are so overburdened that vulnerable people are unable to get the supports they need. Thousands of professional research staff are being employed under temporary contracts and dismissed when funding streams end. Post graduates and new graduates are unable to find jobs.

Social Welfare benefits have been cut and there are plans to increase taxation on the lower paid. There are 450,000 unemployed of which 100,000 are graduates and many have already emigrated.

There is an alternative to this.

National Community Platform
representing 29 caring bodies has launched a programme of proposals focussed on taxing the assets and incomes of the very rich instead of cutting public services. The programme-4Steps 2 Recovery is available on website http://communityplatform.ie/publications.html

Further valuable material is available from TASC —an independent think-tank dedicated to combating Ireland’s high level of economic inequality and ensuring that public policy has equality at its core. Website http://www.tascnet.ie/showPage.php?ID=1

Government irresponsibly allowed Irish Banks to borrow 90 billion Euro abroad after 2003. Now the very rich must make a major contribution to providing a remedy through increased tax payments.

I contested the Seanad election (NUI Panel) on the last occasion with the support of Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) and Irish Federation of University Teachers and received almost 1500 votes.

Of course, cuts in public services cannot be prevented by the Seanad. But those elected can play an important role as public advocates on behalf of the interest groups they represent.

Senator Joe O’Toole
has used his position to promote the Croke Park Deal under which thousands of temporary staff have been dismissed and over 10,000 permanent public service posts have been eliminated causing serious damage to public services.

Senator Ronan Mullen has campaigned against reform of the law on same sex unions from a Catholic perspective. David Quinn, director of IONA Institute which supports Ronan has recently advocated cuts in public services.

Senator Fergal Quinn represents business interests.

A strong advocate for public services, for public servants, for employees generally and for the poor is urgently needed.

I am considering contesting the Seanad Election on the NUI panel when it takes place if sufficient support is available.

It is my intention if elected to use the position to enhance my work in organising public servants, employees generally and the poor to defend themselves against cuts and other oppressive policies. In pursuit of these objectives, I will be advocating increased taxation of the assets and incomes of the super-rich.

Above all a Registration Drive is needed immediately. A Registration Form can be downloaded at

http://www.nui.ie/elections/seanad-register.asp#reg1 Tá leagan gaeilge ar fáil ar an suíomh idirlín freisin.

If you wish to help with this work, please reply to this message or telephone me at 086-4183732

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