The recent revelation that Arthur Cox will be acting for Japan Tobacco (JTI) in its threatened court action against the State to block plain cigarette packaging serves as a warning of the possible consequences of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, coming into force. This supposed free trade agreement is currently being negotiated by the US and EU in almost complete secrecy, and more or less exclusively at the behest of large multi-national corporations and business lobbyists, who comprised 90% of the stakeholders consulted by the European Commission's trade department during its preparation for the TTIP negotiations.
People Before Profit activists in the Rathmines area of Dublin are helping to set up a Dublin Tenants Association. A launch meeting attended by Richard Boyd Barret TD, local councillor, Sonya Stapleton, and housing activist Gerard Maher will take place in Devitt’s Pub (upstairs) in Camden Street on Thursday 19th February at 8.30 pm. It is hoped a movement for rent regulation will spread outwards across the city.
People Before Profit Clondalkin Councillor Gino Kenny has called on Dublin Bus to review its new revived routes the 13 and 40 to and from Clondalkin.
Both routes were changed recently as part of Network Direct.The new 13 bus service has a cross city connection between Ballymum and Clondalkin. The 40 route which was the old 78A has also a cross city connection between Finglas and North Clondalkin.
North & South Clondalkin are in for massive Bus Cuts Despite handing Dublin Bus thousands of signatures on petitions it looks like that the cuts are going to be forced in on top of passengers. Cllr Gino Kenny orgainised six Local meeting in Rathcoole, Newcastle, Bawnogue,Neilstown,Dutch Village & Green Park Johns Wood areas. I spoke to the Locals and informed them what the cuts meant to them in the different areas the traveling public were not pleased to say the least.
Eugene McDonagh, Sacked NBRU National Executive, Harristown Depot
Reports that the mortgage provider Permanent TSB is set to raise interest rates by 1% has sent a wave of fear through many households. The rise in the standard variable rate will add €60 to every €100,000 borrowed. Once this increase goes through, other mortgage providers will follow. These will include companies who have received huge bail outs from Irish taxpayers.
Councillor Gino Kenny, the People Before Profit candidate for Dublin Mid West, has claimed that these rises will trigger a social crisis of massive proportions.
The UCD economist Morgan Kelly recently claimed “that gathering mortgage crisis puts Ireland on the cusp of a social conflict on the scale of the Land War”. The mortgage increases are a time bomb that is ticking away at the heart of Irish society. Already one in ten mortgage holders are in difficulty and the interest rate hikes will push many more over the edge. We cannot keep on bailing out banks while they simultaneously try to solve their problems by squeezing families dry. It is time to stop the blame game and openly acknowledge that the mortgage crisis is not just an individual problem. The elite structures of Irish society pushed hundreds of thousands of people onto unsustainable mortgages through a policy of reducing social housing and stimulating the property bubble. "We need a clear change of policy and I propose three measures to help those in mortgage difficulties.
1. We need to declare an economic emergency. During this period, mortgage companies should be forbidden from re-possessing the houses of any family that can prove financial distress.
Cllr Gino Kenny, the People Before Profit-United Left Alliance candidate for Dublin Mid West, has called for a new PAYE revolt against tax hikes.
"In the early 1980s, there were huge demonstrations against the injustice of loading extra tax increases onto PAYE workers while other social groups were exempted. We need a ‘day of wrath’ to express our anger against the latest attempt to make PAYE workers pay for the economic mess. The Universal Social Charge should be called the bankers’ tax. It is a levy imposed on us to pay off bankers and bondholders."
Department of Finance figures indicate that the government hopes to raise €420 million from this new levy this year. Tax hikes on PAYE workers from the reduction in tax credits are due to bring in a further €1.2 billion.
But a 1 percent wealth on the 33,000 Irish millionaires, who have a combined €121 billion in assets between them, could have raised a similar amount.
If we stopped paying off bondholders, there would be no need for any of these changes. The needs of Irish workers should come before the coffers of Goldman Sachs
The government made a political choice to hit out at low and middle income workers rather than tackle the Irish wealthy or their friends among the bondholders. They saw PAYE workers as an essay touch and thought it could get away with these savage attacks without resistance.
The cuts in the last budget were anti-family. But a government led by Enda Kenny and propped up by Labour will not reverse them. Many more children will be forced into poverty unless we stop these cuts.
The children’s allowance was reduced by €10 a child for first and second child. Despite evidence that larger families are more likely to suffer poverty, a third child saw a reduction of €20. The cuts in 2010 followed the cuts of 2009, and the removal of the early childcare supplement in 2009. More cuts will be implemented over the next few years if we have a government that accepts the EU/IMF deal.
The one-parent family payment was cut by 4% this year – and that was on top of previous social welfare cuts. In June 2010, a new Social Welfare Bill was also introduced. This legislation discriminates against lone parents because it plans to cut the one-parent family payment when a child reaches 14 years of age. A Fine Gael and Labour coalition government will not scrap these plans.
There is no support for lone parents who wish to attend part-time 3rd level education courses. Grants are only given to full-time courses but most mothers are not able to attend college full-time. A family with two incomes can barely afford childcare costs – so it is impossible with just one income. .
The People before Profit candidate, Gino Kenny, is highlighting the plight of building workers in his constituency. ‘Huge numbers of people in Clondalkin and Lucan worked as building workers and found themselves without work’