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United Left Alliance TD's First Press Conference

category national | elections / politics | press release author Tuesday March 08, 2011 09:56author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerauthor email libertypics at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Programme for Government is a Recipe for Cuts and Austerity.

Via ULA Press Release March 7th 2011.

People voted out Fianna Fáil but new government offers more of the same.

United Left Alliance will be the radical opposition in the Dáil and will advocate strategy of people power protest against austerity
Eddie Colgan (3rd from left) introduced the ULA's newly elected TD's at their first press conferecne today. Paddy Healy (speaking 1st on right) is representing his brother Séamus Healy of WUAG/ULA.
Eddie Colgan (3rd from left) introduced the ULA's newly elected TD's at their first press conferecne today. Paddy Healy (speaking 1st on right) is representing his brother Séamus Healy of WUAG/ULA.

At today’s press conference convened by the United Left Alliance in response to the programme for government agreed by Fine Gael and Labour Joe Higgins, Socialist Party/ULA TD for Dublin West said:

“As we predicted, despite the media palaver about Fine Gael and Labour being incompatible they rapidly split the minute differences in their respective manifestos and have presented the public with essentially a continuation of the Fianna Fáíl/Green Party/IMF cuts programme.

“Tied in the straightjacket of cuts and austerity, the policies of this government mean more unemployment, more emigration, more stealth taxes and more transferring of wealth from taxpayers to failed banks and greedy bondholders. Scarcely any demands are being asked off the wealthy to pay for the crisis they created.

“Many who voted for the two government parties hoping for change will quickly feel betrayed. The United Left Alliance will be ceaselessly active campaigning on all the issues extending its support and influence as all the establishment parties are proved wanting.”

Joan Collins, People Before Profit/ULA TD for Dublin South Central said

“Labour’s promise to oppose water charges has been ditched and they will carry on with the Fianna Fáil/Green policy of wasting hundreds of millions of euro on meter installation instead of investing directly in repairs.

“This water tax, like the property tax will be an intolerable burden on ordinary people. As with Thatcher’s doomed Poll Tax in Britain the common response of people will be ‘can’t pay won’t pay!’

“The United Left Alliance will be a key organising force, with others in the No Water Tax campaign which was launched this time last year in anticipation of this unfair tax. A campaign of non payment comparable with the successful campaign of the 1990s will be built across the country.”

Paddy Healy trade union activists and brother of Seamus Healy, Workers and Unemployed Action Group/ULA TD for South Tipperary and West Waterford said:

“The government’s plan for health care was hardly the subject of any critical analysis by media commentators. Fine Gael and Labour plan to force obligatory predominantly private health insurance on everybody and simultaneously sack between 7,000 and 8,000 public health administrators in the process.

“The Dutch model of health care touted by Fine Gael is a two tier system which in 2009 alone made €1.2 billion in profits and wasted €38 million on advertising. Similarly this government’s intention of forcing hospitals to compete for patients and to be subject to pressures from insurance companies to cut costs and standards is a recipe for disaster.”

Clare Daly, Socialist Party/ULA TD for Dublin North said

“We will hold this government to its promise to reverse the minimum wage cut which affects 80,000 workers. However the real prize they are still after is the abolition of the Registered Employment Agreements and Employment Regulation Orders which provide for minimum terms and conditions of 300,000 workers in many branches of the private sector. We support every necessary measure being taken by workers to defend their pay and conditions.

“The ULA TDs will be equally uncompromising defenders of public sector workers, 25,000 of whom face the sack under this agreement further decimating our public services in the process. The notion that this can be achieved voluntarily is laughable given the experience with the HSE late last year.

“We will be calling on the trade union leadership, some of whom shamefully support this coalition to move aside and make way for a fighting leadership for the trade union movement.”

Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit/ULA TD for Dun Laoghaire summed up:

“The United Left Alliance will be the consistent radical opposition in the Dáil to the Fine Gael/Labour/IMF government. We will use the platform of five Dáil seats to likewise argue for a fundamentally alternative way of organising society in the interests of people before bankers and speculators.

“We will also use our positions to advocate an active response from working people and the unemployed to the attacks this government want to inflict on them. The United Left Alliance will be active on the ground in the communities, workplaces, schools and colleges building resistance in the form of strikes and people power protests in the months and years ahead.

“Having made our breakthrough in this election we will go on to build the ULA as a nationally as a mass left alternative to the political establishment.”


For information and confirmation:

Eddie Conlon 0876775468 Michael O Brien 087 2400331 Sinead Kennedy 087 7712160


All pics © Michael Gallagher 2011 All rights reserved

086 4048249 email: libertypics@yahoo.ie

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Joe Higgins SP/ULA
Joe Higgins SP/ULA

Joan Collins PBP/ULA
Joan Collins PBP/ULA

Clare Daly SP/ULA and Richard Boyd Barrett PBP/ULA
Clare Daly SP/ULA and Richard Boyd Barrett PBP/ULA

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