I GOT FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES! Fair play to my comrade Richard Boyd Barret who took on the job of challeging the proceedular trickery of the powers that be in ‘the house’ today. My Climate Emergency Bill, despite being passed overwhelming so far, has been put into ‘limbo’ by undemocratic means because the fossil fuel industry doesn’t like it. Here’s the exhange in the Dáil earlier. Thanks Richard.

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A new report on DISABILITY AND ACCESS TO TRAVEL was discussed yesterday in the Dáil. A good report, with good ideas. Will it be matched by the government’s committment to equality for disabled people? Consider this: they are gung-ho on privatisation of transport, yet there is no requrement for private operators to facilitate disabled travellers! This is outrageous. We must keep the pressure on Shane Ross and the govt parties to do the right thing – they can’t be trusted to do its themselves

 

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MORE PUBLIC MONEY WASTED. That’s Minister Doherty’s plan for JOBPATH and the unemployed. She intends renewing the multi million Euro contracts with dodgy companies who got the ‘gig’ last time – private businesses contracted for ‘job activation’ schemes that “patronised..manipulated and bullied” the people they were meant to help – the unemployed. And they call this ‘Social Protection’! I spoke about this in the Dáil earlier today.

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Solidarity / PBP put a motion to the Dail today regarding the nurses dispute and other health care professionals. Whatever the outcome, and the decision is theirs alone, this Dáil should understand that the issues that drove the nurses to take action will not be resolved by the offer. Understaffing means an unsafe health service. Nurse ratio to patients should ideally be 1:4. As things stand it’s more like1:8 and sometimes as bad as 1:11. The measly offer will not solve that. But whatever happens, our nurses and midwives will continue to be held in the highest regard by all – all that is except this shameful government. I spoke to the motion in Dáil.

 

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The scandalous waste of public money at the National Children’s Hospital is compounded by the farce of giving PwC half a million Euros to ‘investigate’ it. PwC are employed by BAM, the contractor they are supposed to be investigating, and also by the Dept of Health, whose catastrophic balls-up this is! And guess who was Minister for Health when the contracts were signed – Leo himself! I put questions to Ministers Harris and Donoghoe about the very flawed procurement policies. No much by way of answers though.

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I  made several queries at the Dail committee today. Apart from the mess they have made of re-testing, there remain unanswered questions.

Since this time last year, I have been asking what labs gave the wrong results that led to 221 women having their cervical cancer go unnoticed. I believe that labs in the US are the ones involved. They were the cheaper option, a ‘for-profit’ company that failed women like Vikki Phealan. Outsourcing is the root of it. So I’m relieved to know the government intends, eventually, to re-patriate the service. Meantime, I’m still waiting the for the answer. 

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Not content with threatening striking nurses, and letting the children’s hospital costs rip, this government is refusing to acknowledge the right of AMBULANCE WORKERS to be represented by the union of their choice. And shame on Finian McGrath, a supposedly Independent Left TD, himself a former trades unionist, standing in for Harris’s and doing his dirty work. Nasra Eire Abú!

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