Tuesday, 11 June 2019
National Development Plan: Motion [Private Members]
I am glad to have the opportunity to speak for a couple of minutes on this very important topic. The Project Ireland 2040 plan and the millions or billions that will be spent in the meantime matter little to a particular lady who gets 20 minutes' home help and does not have anyone to cook her dinner. She is sick and tired of sandwiches and being showered. No one has time to cook a dinner for her. That is very unfair. Another lady, who is very elderly, has €57 left for her weekly outgoings after paying for private home help to supplement the small amount of home help she gets from the HSE. This plan matters little to such people who are being cut to the bone.
On hospitals, Kenmare and Dingle hospitals are only half open. There are people on trolleys day after day and other people waiting in emergency departments.
During questions on promised legislation, I raised the issue of the lousy deal that is supposed to be given to farmers under the fair deal scheme. People are waiting 12 or 14 weeks to be assessed for the fair deal scheme and their families are trying to pay for their stay in a nursing home because they cannot be left in community hospitals.
The plan refers to climate change and all the money that will be spent on it. The current generation of farmers are doing so well for their environment and have complied with all the regulations with which they have been asked to comply. I thank the generations of farmers who got us here, the people who came before us and looked after our land and country. Like everyone else, I appreciate our environment - rivers, lakes and mountains - and so did those farmers. They got us to where we are. There is now a new wave of people who are saying, "Save the planet and to hell with the people." That is what is going on.
The Government is planning to spend billions between now and 2040. Where will it get that money? It will get it from the farmers and off the backs of the poor people who are trying to go to work and have only a car to take them there. The Government is talking about imposing more carbon taxes. Carbon tax matters little to those who do not have housing.