Saturday, 27 June 2020
Taoiseach a Ainmniú (Atógáil) - Nomination of Taoiseach (Resumed)
I welcome the Debenhams shop steward here today. I have said many times about past Governments, and particularly about the Labour Party, that when it came to propping up Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party wrestled with its conscience and its conscience never won. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael could have been forced into this position a long time ago if the Labour Party had not propped them up, as they have done.
The Green Party, in endorsing this programme for Government, is betraying all those who voted for fundamental change. It was an anti-establishment vote on 8 February. I heard that on the doorsteps and I am not an alien, so I am sure everybody else heard it on the doorsteps too. The Green Party is also betraying those who voted for radical, serious action on climate change. Much has been made of the commitment to a yearly 7% reduction in carbon emissions, but achieving that has been pushed back to the period 2025 to 2030, which is after the incoming Government will have left office. This is in line with the more than 100 issues that have been kicked into the long grass, with reviews, task force reporting, citizens' conventions and special commissions.
As for what serious, radical action on climate change would look like, take public transport. Dublin has the lowest public transport subsidy of all reasonably sized cities in Europe. Free public transport would be radical. The horrible Covid-19 lockdown showed that it is possible to dramatically reduce emissions. What about a four-day working week with no loss of pay, again a radical solution?
On the two key issues that dominated the February election, housing and health, absolutely nothing would change with this programme for Government. Housing will be developer led, while the rental market will be dominated by vulture funds. Any reference to Sláintecare by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is a joke. Sláintecare was buried years ago and there is no intention to implement it.
I will not vote for Deputies Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar as rotating taoisigh.