Friday, 11 August 2017

Waiting times for Domiciliary Care Allowance ‘getting worse’– Brady

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has accused the Taoiseach of misleading the Committee on Social Protection as regards waiting times for the processing of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) in his previous role as Minister for Social Protection.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“Back in May, during Varadkar’s final engagement with the Committee as Minister, I questioned him as to the failure of his Department to meet their target of processing DCA within 6 weeks with a success rate of 2%.

“At the time, Leo Varadkar informed the Committee that they were resolving the issue yet, almost three months later and the waiting times are actually worse. In May, the waiting times for the processing of the payment was 15 weeks, it now stands at 18 weeks.

“This week, I was contacted by a constituent who received a text message from the Department informing her of the 18 week waiting time for processing her application for DCA.

“This means that there are people caring for children with severe disabilities who need constant attention and full time care being left waiting five months before they receive a decision on their application. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“Whatever “resolving” Minister Varadkar was doing back in May clearly has had the opposite affect and the situation is now worse than before. I will be writing to Minister Doherty in the hope that she will act to address this scandal. Whether additional staff has to be taken on in this unit or moved, this waiting time must reduce drastically and it cannot be allowed to get to these levels again.”

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Brady warns of ‘privatisation agenda’ behind changes to operation of bus routes in Wicklow

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said the announcement of changes to a number of Dublin Bus routes including three Wicklow routes signals a serious move to the privatisation of our public transport service.

Speaking following the announcement by Dublin Bus earlier today, Teachta Brady said:

“It was announced this morning that Dublin Bus has been unsuccessful in the tender process to operate 24 of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus routes in the Dublin metropolitan area. Go-Ahead, a private English bus operator, will instead begin taking over the operation of all 24 bus routes from November next year.

“Three of the twenty four routes are in Wicklow with the 184 from Bray Rail Station towards Newtownmountkennedy, the 185 from Bray Rail Station towards Shop River and the 45A from Dún Laoghaire Rail Station towards Kilmacanogue.

“Recent strike action by Dublin Bus workers exposed concerns at a privatisation agenda at work and this move seems to signal that intent.

“I am eager to learn from the NTA what made Go-Ahead more preferable than Dublin Bus who are already operating a decent service in both Wicklow and Dublin.

“I will be contacting Minister Ross and the National Transport Authority to raise concerns at the direction by which these changes are going. Public transport must remain just that, there cannot and should not be any interference in the network by private entities.”

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Brady welcomes ‘long awaited progress of refurbishment works at Hillview Estate’

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady has welcomed the long awaited progress of refurbishment works at Hillview Estate in Wicklow Town.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome the fact that at long last works are progressing to deal with the dreadful slum like conditions of houses in the Hillview Estate.

“For many years, Sinn Féin has consistently called for these works to be carried out to address the many problems with properties in the estate such as dampness. Some work on the balconies and the re-tiling of stairways has already taken place.

“It is regrettable that despite Sinn Féin securing €20,000 for an audit to identify the cause of the problems in the houses as far back as 2013, progress is only now taking shape. However, this is badly needed and it is to be welcomed.

“On a site visit with Liadh Ní Riada MEP this week, I was delighted to speak to council officials and the architect and see this progress for ourselves. I look forward to these works being completed without delay.”

Wicklow Sinn Féin launches campaign to extend Dublin Bus from Kilcoole to Newtownmountkennedy

Wicklow Sinn Féin representatives have this morning launched a campaign calling on Dublin Bus to extend route 84 from Kilcoole to Newtownmountkennedy, the fastest growing village in the State.

Speaking about the campaign, Teachta Brady said:

“I am delighted to join my colleague and East Wicklow Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton in launching this public transport campaign for the people of Newtown and surrounding areas.

“Currently, there is no direct public transport service between Kilcoole and Newtown which is having a detrimental impact on both communities for young people and the elderly alike.

“The extension of route 84 into Newtown is essential to ensure that communities can travel easily between Kilcoole and Newtown including, students attending Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole. This will also be of benefit to the local economy of East Wicklow.

East Wicklow Sinn Féin representative Muireann Dalton added:

“Last week, we launched an online petition for people to sign in support of this initiative. The petition is available online at https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/extend-the-84-bus-route-to-newtownmountkennedy.html. This week, we have made petitions available in local businesses across Newtown and in the coming days, we will going out door to door seeking support from the community.

“I would encourage people to support this local campaign and ensure that the people of Newtown have access to the most basic public transport.”

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fianna Fáil change of heart on former courthouse in Wicklow town ‘welcome’ - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady has welcomed Fianna Fáil’s change of heart regarding the former courthouse in Wicklow town.
Teachta Brady said:

“I read with interest this week that Fianna Fáil are now calling for the former courthouse in Wicklow town to be reopened despite, standing idly by and allowing it to close back in 2010.

“The courthouse ceased holding District Court sittings in 2010 having previously ended Circuit Court sittings back in 2008. Seven years later, and Fianna Fáil are suddenly campaigning to have the courthouse reopened.

“I have had several correspondences with both the previous Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD and the Courts Service regarding the former courthouse.

“In April, I sought the annual costs involved in maintaining the unused courthouse from the then Minister Fitzgerald. In 2015 and 2016, the Courts Service spent almost €13,000 on heat, light and fuel costs with just over €4,000 spent on security costs between the years 2012 and 2014.

“I have asked both the Minister and the Courts Service to examine reopening the courthouse in Wicklow town and I understand from both that there are no immediate plans in place to reopen the courthouse.

“The OPW are currently undertaking a survey of the building to establish its condition and I await these findings. I will continue to work towards the reopening of the courthouse and I welcome Fianna Fáil coming on board especially, when they were responsible for starving it of the necessary funding in the first place.

“If Fianna Fáil are genuine about reopening the courthouse in Wicklow town they should use their Confidence & Supply agreement with Fine Gael to secure the funding needed to resume the court service in the town.”

Friday, 14 July 2017

Sinn Féin launches campaign calling for JobPath to be scrapped - Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow and East Carlow John Brady TD has called for JobPath to be scrapped.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“JobPath was first piloted in Longford and Bray in 2015 as a new job activation scheme. It is based on a model of contracting employment services for the unemployed out to private companies. So far, 97,000 people have been referred to JobPath.

"Last week we launched a social media campaign around JobPath to hear from people about their experiences. The feedback is damning of this scheme.

“There are serious concerns around JobPath and the way in which Turas Nua and Seetec are dealing with jobseekers.

“We have no idea of the costs involved despite taxpayers footing the bill. We have no idea of the jobs being found for Jobseekers. This lack of transparency is worrying.

“The Government’s prioritisation of JobPath is having a huge impact on Community Employment and Local Employment Services who are losing out.

“We are calling for a full and urgent review of JobPath with an eye to abolish it outright.

"Jobseekers should not be used by private companies to make profits. Job activation needs to be managed by the Department of Social Protection and without the interference of companies whose only interest is profit.

“We will be collecting all of the feedback we receive online to form a report on JobPath which we hope to launch over the recess.

"Today, we launch our leaflet and postcard campaign and we will asking people to sign the postcard in objection to JobPath and these will be delivered to the Minister for Social Protection.”

Monday, 10 July 2017

Citizens’ Assembly vote in line Sinn Féin Bill to abolish mandatory retirement age - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the Government to progress his Bill to abolish the mandatory retirement age as echoed by the Citizens’ Assembly vote this weekend.

Speaking this morning Teachta Brady said:

“This weekend, the Citizens’ Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing mandatory retirement on the basis of age with 86% of the vote.

“This sends a clear message to the Government – it is time to end age discrimination in the workplace.

“Nobody should be forced to leave their job because of their age. There is a clear appetite for change out there and the Government cannot ignore this.

“The Sinn Féin bill to abolish the mandatory retirement age received cross party support in the Dáil and is now waiting Government approval to move to Committee Stage. This needs to happen without any further delay.

“A huge 96% of the Citizens’ Assembly voted for this to be addressed by Government, something Sinn Féin have consistently called on the Government to do so.

“A second vote over the weekend calls on the Government to address the current anomaly which sees those forced to retire at 65 unable to access their State Pension for one year and having to rely on a Jobseekers payment.

“The Citizens’ Assembly have echoed Sinn Féin’s calls to abolish the mandatory retirement age and to address the ridiculous situation of 65-year-olds being forced onto Jobseekers payments as oppose to their State Pension. It is now over to the Government to do their job on these matters.”