Economy, Worker's Rights

Press statement: Clare Daly TD Socialist Party/United Left Alliance

Privatisation of state assets will come at the cost of jobs and democratic control over vital services and infrastructure

Responding to the government’s announcement regarding the part privatisation of ESB, Bord Gais and Coilte and the intended sell off of the government’s remaining stake in Aer Lingus Socialist Party/ULA TD and Aer Lingus employee Clare Daly said:

“Here we have another example of the government responding to the economic crisis with the same character of neo-liberal measures that got us here to begin with.

“A key feature of the crash in Ireland has been a catastrophic collapse in private sector investment. Rather than trying to sell off valuable state assets to this same private sector we need instead to be enhancing the role of the state in job creation through both emergency necessary public works and an expansion of state enterprises.

“The government are trying to soften this fresh attack by claiming that one third of any proceeds will be invested in job creation. However I will be putting it to Minister Howlin next Tuesday when he answers questions in the Dáil that the real experience of privatisation has been one of job destruction as is evidenced by Eircom and Aer Lingus who are both shadows of what they formally were.

“There is a more fundamental reason why privatisations of major assets and utilities should be opposed. As a class working people should have democratic control over key aspects of economic life in this country.

“This begins with major utilities and infrastructure being in public ownership. That is not to say that the pre existing set up in the likes of the ESB from the point of view of Chief Executuve salaries and the top down manner in which they are run is something we defend. Far from it, these organisations should be radically reformed and democratised while remaining in state hands.

“Battle lines have now been drawn by the government. The workers in ESB, Bord Gais and Coilte in particular must heed the experience of Eircom and Aer Lingus and ready themselves for a fight to oppose these privatisations. The Socialist Party and United Left Alliance will champion this fight in the political field.”

Local Issues

Priory Hall Protest – Clare Daly (mp3)

Local Issues

PRESS STATEMENT – FEBRUARY 13th

“MILLIONS TO BE SQUANDERED ON UNNECESSARY TEAGASC KINSEALY MOVE” – SAYS DALY

“ALL FURTHER WORKS SHOULD CEASE PENDING FULL ANALYSIS”

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly has stated that the government is costing the taxpayer millions by its failure to address serious questions around the planned move of Teagasc from Kinsealy to Ashtown. She was responding to a debate she had with the Minister for Agriculture in the Dail last Thursday.

Deputy Daly said, “The Minister totally dodged the issues posed. On the one hand he said that these matters were for Teagasc to deal with and it would be inappropriate for him to interfere. On the other, when pressed he admitted that he had a role. This is just not good enough. Of course the Minister has a role. This organisation is funded from the public purse and operates under his Department. Re-iterating statements made previously by Teagasc management is not good enough. Particularly when it has been alleged that this move will cost the state millions in unnecessary expenditure for facilities that already exist in Kinsealy. 

In fact contrary to what the Minister said, that combining operations will involve cost savings, everything needed exists in Kinsealy. The Minister failed to answer why €2.5 million is being spent to upgrade classrooms in the Botanic Gardens, when these classrooms already exist in Kinsealy. The practical work will have to continue in Kinsealy because the Ashtown site is too small and more land will have to be acquired. In these austere times, when budgets are being cut and ordinary people faced with vicious cuts, this is even doubly disgraceful. These matters are already before the Dail Public Accounts Committee. All further works should stop until it is fully investigated.”

She concluded, “Fine Gael & Labour promised reform. Before the election, Minister Reilly said if elected he would ensure that this move would be halted. A year on, and the sound of silence is deafening. Enough is enough. Kinsealy is the prime site for horticultural research and should be developed, rather than ridiculous waste of public money in the planned move.”

Local Issues

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly has rejected the explanation of the Minister for Justice and Equality to a Dail question last week in relation to the rationale behind the cutting of the opening hours of Malahide Garda station, and other cuts in Garda services in the area.

She said, ” The Minister is claiming that the decision to cut the opening hours in the stations is not about cost savings but rather about improving the deployment of garda resources and getting better use of Gardai on the frontline. This is nonsense. Everyone knows that there are less Gardai on the streets than ever before. They are trying to cover up for the cuts that have already taken place. Dressing this up as an efficiency measure is an insult which residents will not be fooled by.”

“This is another consequence of the attack on public services. Citizens have, and continue to pay substantial taxation in return forever reducing public services as the government continues its austerity agenda. Improving services means investing in them. This government has reneged on every pre-election promise they made. This is simply not good enough,” she said.

“The Minister has declared that he has ‘no plans to review this decision’, ” Deputy Daly said. “Therefore the three government TDs, particularly Minister Reilly must intervene and force a review.”

More information : Clare Daly – 087-2415576