Friday, 11 March 2016

First day in the Dáil, everything has changed but nothing's different-Brady

Speaking after the 32nd Dail failed to elect a Taoiseach, Wicklow/ East Carlow Sinn Fein TD John Brady has said that despite the failure to appoint a government, an opportunity was lost to maintain focus on critical issues facing people across the country:

“The new Dail failed to ratify the appointment of a Taoiseach and a new government so the house has been adjourned until the 22ndMarch; under pressure they moved it back from 6th April which was their original intention. Enda Kenny has resigned as Taoiseach but will carry on in a caretaker role until such time as a new government is formed. Sinn Fein proposed that the Dail would sit for three days to discuss the many issues facing the country such as the crisis in health, housing and the ongoing debacle of Irish Water. However, Fianna Fail after declaring its commitment to reform of how the Dail operates, refused to support our motion. This means that on the 22nd March the Dail will meet again and do nothing more than re-adjourn with none of the ministers in charge of the various departments held to account.”

On the Issue of Dail reform Teachta Brady said that the Irish people have more to be worried about:
“Sinn Fein have been fighting for Dail reform since we first stepped foot in the house. While we welcome Fianna Fail’s late conversion to the Idea we need to be realistic. The Irish people are concerned about homelessness, the housing crisis, child poverty and the endless hospital waiting lists. Patients on trolleys are to be left languish until Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are in the right mood to tackle them. Ministers in charge of the various departments will continue to be paid but will not be at their desks while struggling families simply have to wait.”

Teachta Brady pointed out that not only will the various ministers not be held to account over the next few weeks, there are no committees to oversee the various departments:

“Sinn Fein called for committees to be immediately established to help deal with crisis areas in the absence of a government being formed. This call was ignored meaning not only are ministers left off the hook, there are no committees to keep an eye on the functioning of the relevant departments.”

In conclusion Teachta Brady pointed out that the issue of Irish Water could have been dealt with if the political will was present:

“Over one hundred TDs were elected on the basis that they would abolish Irish Water. This includes Fianna Fail whose late conversion to the idea was welcome by those of us who have opposed the measure from the get go. Fianna Fáil, in the first meaningful vote on the management of Dáil business on the first day of the 32nd Dáil, voted with the government to block the Sinn Féin proposal. It is simply unacceptable that Fianna Fáil would vote with of Fine Gael and Labour to block a Sinn Féin motion on scrapping Irish Water and water charges, which that party claimed was a red line issue for it. However, this too has been left to fester as the caretaker government backed by Fianna Fail takes what is effectively an extended holiday. But there is no holiday for those struggling to pay the charges, no holiday for those on housing waiting lists or those occupying hospital trolleys, no holiday for medical professionals struggling with overcrowding, no holiday for the tens of thousands of children and parents suffocating under the weight of poverty and no holiday for those families crushed by negative equity. No matter what challenges face the Dail in putting together a government, there is simply no logical reason why TDs and ministers cannot be at their desks doing the jobs they are paid to do. “

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