Sunday, 28 January 2018

Announcement of GP Out of Hours service is a victory for the people of North Wicklow- Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has given a cautious welcome to the news that the GP Out of Hours Service to cover North Wicklow is to be in place by June.

Speaking following the announcement that funding has been secured for the service Teachta Brady said:

“Over the last year Sinn Féin have lead the campaign to have a HSE funded GP Out of Hours Service for the people of North Wicklow. In 2016 we had announcements that the funding was secured for the service and that it would be in place in early 2017, unfortunately that funding was pulled without explanation. So, I cautiously welcome the latest announcement, and will keep the pressure on until the service is operational.

“North Wicklow remains as one of the largest urban areas in the State to be without such a service and continues to cause huge problems for people needing to access a GP outside surgery hours. We have already had a number of public meetings and handed in a petition to Minister Harris containing hundreds of signatures.

“In recent weeks, we have heard of horrific cases of people being left without emergency care outside of normal GP hours and the consequences of such. This is the very reason that this service is so badly and urgently needed. The operation of the service is expected to go out for tender in February and it’s expected that it will be fully operational by June.

Cllr Michael O’Connor commented:

“Sinn Féin has been to the forefront in ensuring that the GP Out of hours service is now finally being delivered. Over the last year we have ran a very successful campaign, we have held public meetings in Bray and Greystones and last October, I, along with my fellow Sinn Féin Councillors and John handed in a petition containing hundreds of signatures to Minister Harris’ in Leinster House.

Cllr Nicola Lawless added:

“This is fantastic news for the people of North Wicklow. When operational the service is intended to cover the night time hours from Monday to Friday and 24 hour cover at weekends and Public Holidays, providing urgent General Practitioner services to patients outside of normal surgery hours. It is expected that approximately 9,000 patients per month will benefit from this GP Out of Hours Service. This will replace the unsatisfactory private arrangements that are currently in place. This service will bring an end to patients having to wait 36hours or more to see a GP, or having to go to A&E because of the inability to access a GP which is a critical part of Primary Care.

Teachta Brady concluded:

“Whilst this announcement is welcome we will keep the pressure on the Minister to ensure that the people of North Wicklow finally get the critically needed GP Service and that the funding isn’t pulled again.”

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Sinn Féin publishes proposals to establish a Child Maintenance Service

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady has today published proposals for the establishment of a Child Maintenance Service.

Speaking upon publication of the document today, Teachta Brady said:

“I have just launched Sinn Féin’s proposals on the establishment of a Child Maintenance Service (CMS) based on the successful model in place in the North of Ireland.

“This will be a free service available to lone parents and will assist them in a range of different ways from providing basic information and advice, to calculating maintenance, collecting maintenance payments and transferring payments to the lone parent.

“The three options available under this service are Parental Arrangements, Direct Pay, and Collect & Transfer.

“Under Parental Arrangements, lone parents can access advice and assistance from the CMS in cases where they are able to come to an arrangement with the non-custodial parent.

“Under Direct Pay, the CMS will step in where the non-custodial parent is happy to pay maintenance but an agreement on the amount cannot be reached.

“Finally, Collect & Transfer will be enforced where maintenance payments cease to be paid to the lone parent whether that is under Parental Arrangements or the Direct Pay option.

"This will be the automatic option put in place in cases of domestic abuse ensuring that at no stage will the lone parent have to contact their ex-partner.

“The service will have considerable enforcement powers available to them. This will allow them to pursue maintenance payments in cases where they have to.

"This is particularly important if we are to avoid the non-compliance experienced in Britain. Enforcement powers will include the ability to deduct maintenance from income or social welfare payments, the use of bailiffs to collect arrears or seize payments and as a last resort conviction.

“For far too long, lone parents have been left to seek child maintenance payments from an ex-partner with no support or guidance from the State. It is time to end this practice. It is time to use child maintenance as one means of lifting children in lone parent families out of poverty.

It is time for this State to support and assist lone parents and their children. A Child Maintenance Service will do this.”

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Pensioners will not receive money lost since 2012 due to pension changes – Brady

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has expressed frustration at the fact that thousands of pensioners, who have been wrongly receiving reduced State Pensions since 2012, will not see that lost money returned to them.

Cabinet Ministers met today to create a plan to reverse the changes, which were introduced by the Labour Party’s Joan Burton and reduced the pensions of over 42,000 people.

A vast majority of those affected were women who left work for a number of years to raise families, with some losing out on nearly €30 a week.

This was due to the fact that the Government made it more difficult for people with irregular Social Insurance contributions to get a decent pension when they changed the criteria in 2012.

Today’s meeting concluded that those affected will have their entitlements reassessed later this year. If they do qualify for a higher rate, this will only be backdated until March 30th 2018.

Furthermore, the money will not be paid until the first quarter of 2019, due to the fact that the Government does not currently have the funding for the pension increases.

Sinn Féin spokesperson John Brady TD has said that the solution brought forward today by the Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, has failed to meet the mark in terms of resolving the matter.

Teachta Brady said: “Pensioners were very clear when they protested outside Leinster House last week that they wanted to see the reversal of the 2012 changes, and they wanted the money they have wrongfully lost given back to them.

“The new system will be implemented from March 30th but any back money will only apply from that date, and not from 2012 when the anomaly was introduced.”

The Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow welcomed the review of pensioner’s entitlements, as well as the introduction of a new Home Caring Credit of up to 20 years. This change will assist workers who took time out to raise families, but Brady added that more must be done to completely resolve the matter.

Teachta Brady continued: “As a means to address the impact that the 2012 changes have had on over 42,000 people, the Government is bringing forward the Total Contributions Approach for these people.

“They will now have their pensions reviewed based on their own entire working life, but we must too recognise that pensioners will be bitterly disappointed not to receive what was taken from them since 2012.”

Friday, 19 January 2018

Upgrade Works due to take place on the N81 now suspended indefinitely – Brady

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has expressed anger and disappointment that the long awaited upgrade works due to take place on the N81 have been suspended and will not now be carried out.

Speaking having received correspondence from the Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Teachta Brady said:

“I was informed today that the N81 from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme is currently suspended and that the project is not included in the Government’s Capital Investment Plan which provides the financial and strategic framework for Transport Infrastructure Irelands activities until 2021. Therefore the N81 is now not included in the national roads programme.

“The plans which have been worked on now for 10 years would have seen an upgrade of 31km of the N81, with a focus on improving the road safety and journey times for motorists using the road. After extensive public consultation a preferred route has been selected and a 300 metre wide corridor along the route has been frozen from any other development.

“I have been lobbying Minister Shane Ross on the urgent need for works to take place on the N81. Locals and those familiar with the N81 will know it is one of the deadliest roads in the County. According to a briefing report which was released by the Kildare National Roads Office, the current N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes.

“Unfortunately again, West Wicklow is being forgotten about by this Government. I have requested an immediate meeting with Minister Ross on this matter to convey my deep disappointment and frustration at this news and to express to him the dangerous condition of the road and push that the upgrade work can proceed without delay.”

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Older people demand pension equality and fairness - John Brady TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has commended all those who travelled to Leinster House today to make their voices heard for pension equality and fairness.

Addressing the crowd, Teachta Brady said:

“It is time for the over 42,000 people who are wrongly in receipt of reduced State Pensions to receive what they are entitled to from this Government.

“We know that the changes made to the State Pension in 2012 have directly caused this anomaly and this cannot be allowed to continue. If it does continue, then a further 8,000 people will retire on reduced pension payments every year, adding to the figure already of over 42,000.

“Next Tuesday, Minister Doherty will bring a proposal paper to Cabinet with a number of options as to how the Government can go about righting this wrong that has impacted so many of our older people.

“The message from today’s protest is clear. Older people want what they are entitled to in order to live their lives without fear of poverty or financial stress.

“All eyes will be on the Government to see if they will deliver on their promise to solve this crisis once and for all.”

Monday, 15 January 2018

Brady raises concern for two Bray schools as developer goes into liquidation

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has raised concerns for Coláiste Raithín and Ravenswell primary school in Bray given news that the developer involved, Carillion is going into liquidation.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Brady said:

“While, the schools at Coláiste Raithín and Ravenswell primary school in Bray are almost complete, there are now fears that the handover could be delayed.

“Carillion’s role in the development not only included the initial construction of the schools but to operate and maintain the buildings for 25 years. This is now in jeopardy.

“The liquidation of Carillion means uncertainty for the two schools in Bray as well as teachers, students, parents and the wider community.

“I will be raising this issue on the floor of the Dáil this week to ensure that there is clarity as to the current situation for both schools and that the handover happens without delay.” ENDS