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Nomination of Taoiseach (Resumed) (Continued)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 953 No. 4

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett] At the time, Jeremy Corbyn's policies were condemned by Deputy Howlin as being much more like the policies of Solidarity-People Before Profit than Labour Party policies. Deputy Howlin is on record as saying that.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin Can the Deputy show that record to the House?

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett It worries me that over recent weeks, the only serious policy issue that emerged was the rather shocking attack by Deputy Varadkar on welfare cheats and a group of people who supposedly do not get up before 7 a.m. That was a new low in politics. It was very divisive and showed a deep level of prejudice against those who suffer inequality and hardship but skated over the fact that, as Millward Brown have just reported, 30% of people who are entitled to family income supplement do not claim it. There is more money not being claimed by people who are suffering hardship and poverty than is supposedly being defrauded by the welfare cheats the Minister unjustly targeted during the Fine Gael leadership campaign.

Deputy Coveney was the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government during the greatest housing and homelessness crisis in the history of the State and was more concerned with the Fine Gael leadership campaign. However, he took time out from that campaign to vote against a Bill put forward by Solidarity-People Before Profit which sought to stop evictions and control the rents that are being ratcheted up by the vulture funds to which Deputy Coveney sold the property of this country and on which the Government does not levy proper taxes.

I also raise the issue of the young woman who is at risk of suicide and is seeking an abortion. In a macabre re-run of the X case scandal , she has been imprisoned by the State.

What people want is hope, not hype. They want policies, not pantomime. Judging by recent weeks, we will not get that from Fine Gael but that is what Solidarity-People Before Profit will be trying to put forward in this House.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger I am sharing time with Deputy Mick Barry. Deputy Varadkar will not be surprised that Solidarity-People Before Profit cannot support his nomination today.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed There is a shock.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger Deputy Varadkar made a confession in this House during a debate on the exorbitant prices charged by drug companies. He said that dealing with some of these companies would bring out whatever socialist instinct may be buried within him. No one really believed Bertie Ahern was a socialist. However, maybe when Deputy Varadkar gets into the top job he will see how corrupt, unfair and rotten the system is and he will dig deep for that socialist vein and maybe he will become the first socialist Taoiseach. That is probably unlikely as he is wearing blue tie today. We certainly recognise the-----

(Interruptions).

Deputy Patrick O'Donovan: Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan Judging by his tie, Deputy Micheál Martin is not a socialist either

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed It is an effort at humour.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: Information on Ruth Coppinger Zoom on Ruth Coppinger Solidarity-People Before Profit recognises the significance of having a Taoiseach who is a gay man with an Indian background. That is a massively positive comment on the changing social attitudes in Ireland that have allowed that to come about. We saw that in the marriage equality referendum which was driven by young people and resoundingly endorsed in working class communities. Deputy Varadkar will ultimately be judged by the policies and positions he takes on those issues.

We also encourage the involvement of migrants in politics. Migrants have many different views. Last weekend, I spoke at the formation of a left group, Kranthi, in the Indian community. I hope that migrants will get involved to get the type of change that is really necessary, which is to change people's lives through a massive transformation in how wealth is owned and controlled.

Deputy Varadkar will take the helm at a critical time when the people's aspirations are going way beyond what the system is prepared to offer. After a decade of brutal austerity, in which Deputy Varadkar was very involved, it seems that what was taken in the recession is not going to be restored. Two-tier pay and a second class status for young people will be made permanent.


Last Updated: 11/09/2018 13:26:21 First Page Previous Page Page of 44 Next Page Last Page