Ivana Bacik outlines vision for Dublin Bay South
Labour candidate in the Dublin Bay South bye-election, Ivana Bacik, today officially launched her campaign and outlined her priorities for Dublin Bay South.
Joined by Labour Party Leader, Alan Kelly, TD, and members of the Parliamentary Labour Party at Wilton Terrace in the constituency, Ivana Bacik said that housing, care, climate and community were the priority issues in this election.
Speaking at the launch, Ivana Bacik said, “I’m very encouraged by the positive response that we’ve received on the campaign trail so far. People are very engaged with this election and with the solutions that candidates are putting forward to the serious issues facing the constituency.
“Housing is without a doubt the most important issue. It bridges all ages and social classes. The housing crisis is having a very serious impact on health and well-being. Housing insecurity and unaffordable rents are taking their toll.
“In this election the Labour Party will be demanding an end to the developer-led housing policy being promoted by this Government. We are arguing for a significant increase in the public provision of housing, along the lines suggested last week by the ESRI. We will also be bringing forward proposals that will help people who are renting and facing imminent rent hikes, insecurity of tenure and, in some cases, who are also enduring poor accommodation standards in the private sector.
Highlighting her work with local parents’ groups to increase ASD classes in schools in the constituency, Ivana Bacik also said that the question of care provision for all age groups is a major issue. “Our campaign is making progress to ensure that children with autism and other learning difficulties have the school resources that they deserve. This is just one aspect of the social care agenda on which we are campaigning strongly. Parents across the constituency are still faced with exorbitant childcare fees; and accessing creche places is a constant concern. I have long argued that we need a public childcare system in Ireland, to assist parents and provide children with the early years start in life that they need.
Ivana Bacik also highlighted her recent calls for reform of the Fair Deal scheme to allow older people to remain in their homes, among their neighbours, while accessing the support they need. “Currently, support under the Fair Deal scheme is only available when an older person enters long-term nursing care. However, there are many older people, often supported by the family and neighbours, who – with some additional assistance – can remain in their home instead. Some families are facing a significant financial burden in meeting these home care costs. I believe we need to reform the Fair Deal scheme to give people the option of remaining in their home, with the State contributing to their care costs.”
The Labour Party Senator also signalled that during the campaign she will be launching a new plan for Dublin Bay, focusing on water quality, enhanced amenities, and biodiversity.
Concluding her remarks, Ivana Bacik said, “Fine Gael and Sinn Fein think they can collude in making this election all about themselves. Fine Gael are seeking affirmation for a Government presiding over an unprecedented housing crisis. Sinn Fein talk about anger. Affirmation or anger. It’s a bleak choice, and it’s a false choice. People won’t be patronised or corralled into the convenient blocs that suit those two main parties. People want to see their political system work. Constituents in Dublin Bay South aren’t interested in a FG/SF punch and judy show.
“People in this constituency instead want their politicians and legislators to implement solutions that improve their quality of life. They want politicians who are honest about the choices before us – on housing, on climate, on funding public services like childcare and education, and on enhancing local amenities and communities. This bye-election gives people a chance to say that they’ve had enough of politics as usual. That they want a change.
All my life I have campaigned for change – at local and national level. In terms of women’s rights, equality, educational choice and disadvantage, people know my record. They mightn’t agree with me on everything, but they recognise a campaigner who is principled, tenacious and says what she believes – regardless of whether it is profitable or popular. I want to put my skills and energy to work for the people of Dublin Bay South and I’m asking for their No. 1 vote.”