We failed to achieve our targets last year to reduce harmful emissions, so we have to pay a fine of €50 million. This will continue to rise because we’re still NOT doing enough of the right things to reduce emissions. There are accountancy tricks and a ‘fantasy’ about how the €50million is used. Smoke and mirrors from Eamon Ryan by way of explanation, but the facts remain it’s a waste of public money, and when we need so much – wages for student nurses and midwives for instance, services for sick children and children being failed by our ridiculous system. I spoke in the Dáil Climate Committee yesterday about this, and how it relates to CETA.

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We need to be vigilant, because pensions are coming under attack – not the the gold-plated €100k plus that senior ‘public servants’ enjoy, but ordinary people’s pensions. Let’s be clear – PENSIONS ARE OUR RIGHT, and trying to dodge paying them, or making us work longer, is not going to wash. Pensions are deferred wages that workers have earned. Our national pension pot was robbed of €20 Billion to bail out banks. Now the government wants a ‘commission’ to review pensions. Not needed. Simply increase the bosses contribution to PRSI (one of the lowest in Europe). And why not tax the banks and the super-rich, there’s more of them than ever and they’re richer than ever too! The ‘Grey vote’ has clout, and groups like Pensioners for Equality will be keeping a close eye.

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LEAVE OR SUCK IT UP. That’s the message the government has sent to our young people, despite all their lip service to youth mental-health issues. Effectively, 18-24 years olds were punished for being unemployed, getting €112 a week to live on. In June we were told that half of that age group were unemployed. The figures since then though improved, remain unclear. Our young people are our hope – they deserve better that they, and we, are getting from FFG ers

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Wage subsidy schemes were in a broad sense to be welcomed, across the industrialized world. But Ireland alone, imposed NO OVERSIGHT OR REGULATION of the big companies that claimed it. Even when they were making profit, even when the CEOs were awarding themselves huge bonuses, big outfits like Boston Scientific, Aer Lingus, Ryan Air got public money to ‘keep going’ without scrutiny. Compare that with the scrutiny workers face for Social Protection measures like fuel allowance or a medical card.

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HEAT THE HOUSE OR HAVE MEAL. That’s a real choice many people are forced to make. I was a member of the government’s Climate Action Council. That Council, last year, recommended a study into FUEL POVERTY before increasing carbon tax, increasing hardship. But the FF/FG/Greens, went ahead without a study and put up the Carbon Tax anyway. No hardship to any of them. And just wait for all the ‘concern’ they’ll all show for the poor at Xmas. Sickening.

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NO INCREASE FOR THE OAPs. The suggestion is we can’t afford it because of the outlay on Covid payments to people. Well here’s another suggestion – COVID SOLIDARITY TAX on the filthy rich tech and pharma companies that are making €Billions here and paying pennies in tax. That could look after the OAPs and a lot more besides!

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If you pay-as-you-go for fuel, chances are you might have availed of the €100 fuel subsidy allowance at the start of Covid. The gas and electricity companies that awarded this subsidy are now looking for it back, and are reclaiming it at 60%. So that if you put in a tenner’s worth for fuel, you actually only get €4 worth. This was the big favour they did for poor people!

 

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Deporting care-workers, from a country crying out for care-workers !! I raised this before in the Dáil, and again the other day. The Minister provided some soothing words, but what will actually happen to these people? and others who’s lives have been torn apart by war, famine, poverty? We should shelter people, as we sought shelter in other countries in our Famine years, and after.

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The Irish Aviation Authority is meant to keep air travel safe and protect customers rights, in line with best standards. So you’d expect the top job to be awarded to someone who has worked in an environment of very high standards. Would you believe they gave the job to an ex RYANAIR BOSS? He headed up the Ryanair operation in Malta, before getting his new job as IAA supremo. Talk about the fox being put in charge of the hen-house….! Maybe they’ll put Denis O Brien in charge of Irish Water next?

 

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If you pay-as-you-go for fuel, chances are you might have availed of the €100 fuel subsidy allowance at the start of Covid. The gas and electricity companies that awarded this subsidy are now looking for it back, and are reclaiming it at 60%. So that if you put in a tenner’s worth for fuel, you actually only get €4 worth. This was the big favour they did for poor people!

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