Dáil debates

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais: Tairiscint - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government: Motion


2:10 pm

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)

I also will share time with Deputy Gino Kenny.

I will start by saying I have absolute confidence in this Government and that confidence is based on what we know about the parties in government and what they did in the past decades when they were in power. I am confident that Fine Gael will look after the very wealthy in this society. I am confident that Fianna Fáil will look after the developers and the builders and I am confident that the Green Party will act as a mudguard for both of them. We know from recent history that Fianna Fáil and the Green Party had no problem punching down when they needed to make cuts and we know that Fine Gael have no problem enriching the 1%.

People Before Profit will make sure that the next Dáil remembers those who the previous Government forgot and those who this Government will try to ignore, namely, working people, the homeless, tenants in rented accommodation, pensioners who have lost out and our older citizens in the nursing homes, to mention but a few. We will bring them into the Dáil each day the Dáil sits, just as this Government will bring in the rich, the investors, the bankers, the vulture funds, and the lobbyists that they employ.

Among those forgotten by the previous Government, I want to ask a few questions of particular Ministers.

Will the new Minister with responsibility for justice, who happens to be female, do what the previous Minister failed to do, and indeed what the previous Taoiseach has ignored, and extend the maternity leave and benefit for women who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis? Will she end the flagrant injustice visited upon the O'Farrell family and commission the independent inquiry into the death of Shane O'Farrell as voted for in the previous Dáil?

Will the new Minister with responsibility for education act on the recommendation of the Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution and ensure that young people receive a non-ethos-based sex education?

I call on the new Minister with responsibility for trade and employment and former Taoiseach to act without haste and to save the sectoral employment orders threatened by the recent High Court judgment. I call on him to appeal that decision to ensure workers in the electrical and construction trade, as well as further workers in security and contract cleaning, do not have their wages and conditions minimised. Will he act now to ensure that workers who are being dumped on the scrapheap by the insolvency Act, like the Debenhams workers, workers in Instant UpRight and other companies, are put at the top of the list of creditors in those situations?

Will the new Minister with responsibility for housing please end the trauma and stress facing many thousands of renters by immediately extending the ban on convictions until at least 2021?

I will end my contribution by congratulating the Green Party, because it has succeeded in reintroducing the wolves into one habitat, that is, the wolves of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael austerity back into the Government. I hope not but that may be one of its most prominent achievements.


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