Friday 8 February 2013

Despite the spin the Anglo Irish Promissory deal is a bad one thats clearly Frankfurts way

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady, has said that the
government’s “much-hyped deal on the Anglo Irish promissory note
doubles the cost to the taxpayer of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank and
straddles our children with a massive debit. Despite the spin the
Irish Government without even asking for a write-down has given into
Frankfurts way.”

Cllr Brady said “When you cut through all the spin and hype of the so
called deal on the Anglo Irish promissory note is bad for the
taxpayer. The Government have traded the €28bn promissory note debt
for a sovereign liability to the state of up to €60bn. Rather than
seek a write down in the debt the government has kicked the debt can
further down the road. In doing so, it has cranked up the long-term
costs to the state. This debt will now not only be paid by this
generation of citizens but by our children and our children’s
children, for the next 40 years."

Cllr Brady continued “While it may provide the state with some short
term deficit relief it significantly increases the cost of bailing out
Anglo Irish Bank. Across the country today ordinary people are asking
themselves has the debt been reduced and will it mean less tax hikes
and spending cuts next year and the years after that. The answer to
the first question is an unequivocal ‘no’. The answer to the second
question is not yet clear and will be determined following discussions
with the Troika."

Cllr Brady went onto say "It not surprising that the establishment are
trying to build this up as something that it’s not. Sinn Féin has been
consistent since we first raised the issue of the unfair Promissory
Notes payments. They should not be paid. They are not the people’s
debt, not our debt. Extending an unfair repayment period does make a
debt fair or just. When the first payment on Promissory Notes was paid
in 2011, only Sinn Fein members raised the issue in this House. Fianna
Fail didn’t raise a whimper. The first vote ever in Leinster House on
Promissory Notes was called by Sinn Féin. We have been clear on this
and consistent. Others can defend themselves. The people know where
Sinn Fein has stood on this issue. This is Fianna Fáil’s legacy to the
Irish people. This €48 billion debt was taken on by cabinet in which
Michael Martin sat and did not object, by a government in which
Michael McGrath diligently supported to the very bitter end. Today
however it become as much a Fine Gael and Labour party debt as it is a
Fianna Fail one. It is a debt created by bankers and criminals which
we the people are paying off and after this charade is over it will be
more difficult than n ever for the people to throw this debt off.

Brady concluded “This week the government had a historic opportunity
to secure a real reduction in the cost of the toxic banking debt
foisted on the people by Fianna Fáil. Not only have Fine Gael and
Labour wasted that opportunity, they have increased the cost of that
burden for decades to come.”

Keeping Communities Safe document will lead to a poorer Fire Service in Wicklow

Wicklow Sinn Féin and the Irish Fire and Emergency Services
Association (IFESA) are jointly holding a public meeting to discuss
the fire service in Wicklow and the impact that the new Government
policy will have on Wicklow. The new policy was enacted by Minister
Phil Hogan, T.D. Minister for the Environment, Community and Local
Government on the 7 February, 2013. The new national policy which is
to be implemented immediately is based on the “Keeping Communities
Safe” (KCS) document which is the blueprint for the future direction
of the fire service. The public meeting will take place on Monday 18
February at 8pm in the Royal Hotel, Bray

Cllr Brady said" There is a lot of concern around the direction the
government is taking the fire service. The Keeping Communities Safe
document which is the blueprint for the future direction of the fire
service was officially adopted by the government as policy on 7
February. I had asked that any new proposals should not be implemented
while the reasons for the deaths of two Bray Fire fighters remain
unknown 5 years on, however this unfortunately fell on deaf ears."

Cllr Brady continued "There is a real fear that the new policy which
is contained in the Keeping Communities Safe document will result in
the loss of hundreds of front line fire fighter posts around the
country, with over a 100 posts being lost in Dublin Fire Brigade
alone. These plans if implemented will see fire fighter numbers
reduced and fire stations closed, it will also seriously restrict the
type of emergency the service can respond to, this in turn will
compromise the safety of the public and communities throughout the
country. Both SIPTU and IFESA who represent front-line fire fighters
have serious concerns about these plans and their members are being
balloted for industrial action such are their concerns."

"Wicklow Sinn Féin and  IFESA are holding a public on Monday 18
February in the Royal Hotel, Bray to discuss the impact this new
policy will have on the service in Wicklow. As we already know the
service in Wicklow has serious issues and the fear is this will
compound those problems and lead to greater risk for both the public
and front line fire fighters."

"Speakers on the night will include IFESA National Vice Chairman, Ros
Mac Cobb and Margaret Cahill who has been campaigning for a full time
fire service in Bray since the death of her sister Teresa and her
13-months-old baby boy Chris in a fire in the Oldcourt Estate in Bray
12 years ago."

Sunday 3 February 2013

NAMA confirms it has No properties in Wicklow suitable for Social Housing

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady has called on the Fine Gael/Labour
Government to change their failed social housing policy and to bring
forward a Social Housing Initiative to allow the immediate
commencement of the construction of social housing projects across the
Country to help try resolve the housing crisis in Wicklow. His appeal
to the Government follows confirmation from NAMA that there are no
suitable housing units for social housing on their books in Wicklow.
The Government has said it expects to reach its target of getting
2,000 residential units from NAMA across the state for social housing.

Cllr Brady said "Their is a serious housing crisis in Wicklow and the
current housing policies of Fine Gael/Labour are compounding the
problems for families who are on housing lists with the local
authorities in Wicklow. The Government has adopted a policy of
building no more council houses, this is partially because of the
number of vacant properties across the state on the books of the
National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). However following a question
i had submitted to Wicklow County Council it has been revealed there
are no suitable housing units in Wicklow currently held by NAMA."

Cllr Brady continued "A total of 27 properties, in 3 estates in County
Wicklow were initially identified as potentially suitable for Social
Housing in 2012. 2 of the estates are in Bray and 1 in Greystones.
After further investigation by the Housing Agency, none of the
properties have been deemed suitable for social housing. The estate in
Greystones and one of the Bray estates are no longer available and the
remaining estate in Bray is not suitable due to the size of the

"There are over 5,000 families on housing waiting lists in Wicklow,
families are now being told that it could be 10-12 years before they
are even considered for a council house. This is completely appalling,
I have always argued that Wicklow is not like other Counties, we don't
have expanses of ghost estates across the County that can be used for
social housing and this has now been proven in the response i have
received. The other Government housing initiatives have also failed
completely. Private landlords have not signed up to the Rental
Accommodation Scheme (RAS) in the numbers they were hoping and only 1
build to lease scheme has progressed in the County, this is mainly
because developers cant secure the funds to progress any major housing
developments. Many people in receipt of rent allowance are now in dire
straits because their allowances have been cut and their landlords are
simply refusing to reduce rents to reflect the reduction, this has
resulted in many families being forced from their rented properties
and desperately looking for a council house."

Cllr Brady went onto say "The current Government policy of not
building any more social housing is a flawed one. Over the last 5-10
years the local authorities in Wicklow have spent millions of Euro
purchasing land for housing, 2 sites alone cost Bray Town Council and
Wicklow County Council over € 9 million, the plans for hundreds of
houses have been drawn up at great expense by the councils in Wicklow,
but unfortunately these plans have been shelved by the Government and
the local authorities have been told that there will be no council
houses built for at least the next 2 years."

Cllr Brady concluded "Over 5,000 families in Wicklow are on the
housing list in Wicklow. It is safe to say their is a housing crisis
and the current Government policy is adding to this crisis. We don't
have the vacant ghost estates like other Counties and the response
from NAMA proves that. The Labour Minister for Housing Jan O'Sullivan
must look at the failed policy of not building council houses and
reverse it. What is required is a Social Housing Initiative, this will
stimulate the building and construction industry, both through funding
additional dwellings and increasing expenditure on repairs and
maintenance. This will help stimulate businesses which supply
construction materials and help to retain jobs in the industry and
also house the thousands of families currently lingering on lengthily
housing lists. The Minister has up until now refused to met public
representatives from Wicklow, I intend on writhing to the Minister and
asking her again to meet a delegation from Wicklow and i will be
requesting special meetings of the councils to take place to address
the housing crisis in Wicklow."