Labour party passionately believes in progressive politics
When the Dáil last met to debate this issue, the Labour Party made very clear our position.
The process around forming a Government has left a lot of people scratching their heads.
The Dáil is meeting again today despite no clear outcome of meetings between the two biggest parties and independents,
There is no agreed Programme for Government, and no evidence of any arrangement that could bring about stability.
Here we are again today and it appears that the whole process has broken down once more.
The fact is that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have the numbers.
The current situation requires a clear engagement by Fianna Fail to agree to a provision of a Government. Instead, we have continued prevarication by Fianna Fail for its own naked political reasons, contrary to the country’s best interests.
The current behaviour of Fianna Fail brings to mind similar self-interested decisions years back on the abolition of rates, a bad decision which has backfired.
Sinn Fein, continue to put in the interests of the Party above those of the country. They are still sitting on their hands and shouting from the sidelines, with no intention whatsoever of putting their shoulder to the wheel progress the issues they pretend to care about.
By way of contrast, the Labour Party in 2011, did not hesitate when our country was at risk.
In Government over the last five years, The Labour Party succeeded at a very difficult time in this country’s history in making Ireland a better place, economically and socially.
We entered coalition in the full knowledge of how difficult things would be, because Ireland was in a perilous state and stable government was essential.
The Labour Party passionately believes in progressive politics. That is why we believe that any Programme for Government should include:
- An ambitious housing package to address the crisis in that sector
- An absolute commitment to eradicating child poverty in Ireland, and to putting in place the structures and policies needed to make that ambition a reality
- A commitment to progressively increasing the minimum wage to deliver a living wage for all working people
- Reducing the cost of living for families across Ireland, in particular through a radical approach to supporting childcare costs
- A recognition of the urgent need for policies to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland, such as prioritising the use of renewable energy in all public buildings, providing a saving scheme for people to invest in warmer homes, and to permanently ban the use of fracking in Ireland
- Repeal of the 8th amendment
- A radical review in respect of tax justice. Following the Panama revelations, we require urgent reforms such as the introduction of minimum effective tax rates to undermine the incentives for tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and firms. The Labour Party has been a long time advocate of ensuring that every citizen pays their fair share of tax, no more and no less
In light of the failure to produce any Programme for Government that addresses these issues, Labour is simply not in a position to give support to any candidates for Taoiseach that are before the house today.
We are now at a cross roads; the civil war is over. We need responsible parties to allow for the provision of a government and to put the country first. Those who have a mandate to form a government should do so.