Economy

Archive for the ‘Dáil Issues’ Category

Economy, Uncategorized

This morning, Wednesday 14th March, a large force of Gardai sealed off a country lane leading to the home of Mr Lee Wellstead and then, according to neighbours, forced entry by kicking down the front door. The repossession of the property and the eviction of Mr Wellstead and his young daughter were carried out on behalf of Ulster Bank, which is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland, which was nationalised by the British government as part of the bail out of banks in Britain. In February the Defend Our Homes League mounted a protest at this property contesting the legality of the repossession order issued not by a judge but by the County Registrar. There is a legal question, to be contested in the High Court in April, as to whether a Sheriff, County Registrar or any court below the High Court can issue repossession orders for properties valued above €36,000. In the event the Deputy County Registrar did not serve the repossession order on Mr Wellstead on that occasion. In the mean time Ulster Bank had agreed to a meeting with ULA TDs Joan Collins and Clare Daly to discuss their policies in relation to mortgage arrears.

Speaking in the Dail today Joan Collins TD said “She was appalled and outraged by this eviction of Lee Wellstead and his daughter from their family home. Where have we come to as a nation when the Gardai act as eviction bailiffs for a British state owned bank? Have they forgotten our history as a people? “

Speaking in the same debate Clare Daly TD noted “in today’s papers that the banks are demanding, only two months after they were introduced, a change in the Central Banks code of conduct to allow them greater power to contact/harass home owners with arrears. All the cards are in the hands of the banks in this crisis, yet they see the limited protection for home owners in the code of conduct as an obstacle to them wringing every last cent they can out of distressed
home owners.”

The Defend Our Homes League has called a protest to take place this Friday at 10.30 am at the O’Connell Street branch of Ulster Bank.

Education

Environment, Local Issues

* MINISTER RABBITTE REFUSES TO RESPOND TO DAMNING NEW HEALTH EVIDENCE IN RELATION TO EAST WEST INTERCONNECTOR

* DALY CALLS ON MINISTER TO ACT

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly had an angry exchange in the Dail today (07/03/2012) with Labour’s Minister Pat Rabbitte over the Minister’s refusal to intervene in relation to the fact that it has emerged that Eirgrid submitted seriously inaccurate information during the oral hearing into the East West Interconnector and the very serious potential health effects for residents, especially children.

Deputy Daly was questioning the Minister in relation to whether he was satisfied with the electro magnetic field information submitted by Eirgrid to An Bord Pleanala. She slammed his assertion that he had “no reason to believe that any relevant information in relation to EMF had been withheld or misrepresented”.

She said, “The Minister has every reason to believe that this happened. This information was brought to his attention, where Rush Community Council explained how Eirgrid had incorrectly stated during the planning process that the magnetic field would be static only. They now admit that the actual magnetic filed will have a time varying component, and that this knew this all along, but try to say that this information is insignificant.”

“This is absolutely not the case. The fact that one of the government’s own former advisor’s Professor Anthony Staines said, “It now appears that the evidence as to the induced magnetic field presented at the oral hearing was SERIOUSLY INACCURATE….. the potential adverse health effects of the cable system’s magnetic field have not been assessed..low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, “should be the decider in the government demanding an immediate inquiry and full re-examination of the planning process.”

“That minister Rabbitte dismisses these concerns is an affront to the community of Rush. It is now up to the Minister for Health, Dublin north’s Dr. Reilly to immediately take action,” Deputy Daly said. “Failure to act is akin to criminal neglect of residents in the area and particularly children. I really hope that residents get active again and demand that Eirgrid are called to account”

Communications Energy and Natural Resources

The reason the Government should not sell a 25% stake in Aer Lingus is that it would realise a pittance for it. Bearing in mind the Government’s share and the 15% staff shareholding, one realises the State would lose a vital strategic link and connectivity with Heathrow and other areas. The company has been in existence for decades and has provided secure, permanent, pensionable employment and a good service.

The Labour Party has some neck to posit the sale of State assets as some great move towards job creation. What an absolute betrayal of the people who voted for it. It told them it would protect valuable State concerns although the dogs on the street know that every privatisation inevitably results in job losses. We saw this with Eircom, in respect of which at least 7,000 more jobs were lost. Some 3,500 jobs were lost in Aer Lingus since its part and majority privatisation. We should consider the valuable job creation prospects that would exist if we were to retain the semi-State industries in our control.

We must consider this discussion against the backdrop of the collapse of private sector investment in our economy. This collapse has amounted to €30 billion since 2007. Where will the jobs come from, bearing in mind that the State could be the main mover in job creation? Rather than hiving off parts of our assets, why are we not investing in research, wind and wave energy? The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources told us 10,000 jobs could be created in the wind and wave energy sectors. Where is this investment? Why is the State not investing in the semi-State concerns?

It is inevitable that workers in the companies in question will resist any attempts to sell off vital assets. They will be supported by the public. I ask that the agenda put forward by the United Left Alliance be accepted and that the workers be supported.