Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Category Archives: Cuts

There is no substitute for actual Gardaí patrolling from open, staffed garda stations in rural and urban areas!

 
Both recent governments are responsible for cuts in garda numbers and services.
This resulted in a reduction in over 2000 gardaí since and the closure of about 130 garda stations including several in Co. Tipperary.
Five garda stations were closed in January 2013 in Co. Tipperary.

 
The low level of garda recruitment now in place will not even replace the number of gardaí retiring.

 
A loss of 44 Gardaí in Co Tipperary took place in the period from 2010-2015 alone.

 
All other sitting Co Tipperary TDs, without exception, except myself, supported cuts in garda services. They are all now pretending otherwise!
Don’t Believe a Word They Say!
The number of new recruits is gossly inadequate to restore the garda service and to protect the public. Multiples of this number should be immediately recruited. All retiring gardaí must be replaced. Because of the time lag between recruiting and graduating some emergency measures should be put in place.

To meet the public safety emergency, retired gardai should be offered short term re-employment on full pay and existing gardaí must be allowed to continue in office without damage to their pensions.

 
All the closed garda stations must be re-opened and staffed without delay.
Seamus Healy TD
23/02/2016​​
087 2802199


Deputy Seamus Healy has condemned Tánaiste Joan Burton for one of the meanest cuts yet.
Having insulted pensioners with a miserly €3 per week budget increase she now has instructed officers of the Department of Social Welfare to cut that €3 from sick pensioners who require a Special Diet.
Hard to believe – yes, Well I am attaching a copy of the cut notification received by a 90 year old pensioner (personal details are excluded).
This is one of the many cuts targeting pensioners such as abolition of telephone allowance, reduction in household benefits package, reduction in fuel allowance, increased prescription charges, abolition of the bereavement grant and the list goes on.
Deputy Healy has called on Labour Party Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D. to reverse this cut immediately.

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Seamus Healy TD ​​
087 2802199


The most consistent and angriest complaint on the door steps is of broken promises and the resultant targeting of those on low and middle incomes for cuts and new taxes.
When considering promises and announcements by Labour and Fine Gael in this General Election Campaign, voters are considering what happened to the promises they made in the last General Election Campaign.

 
The Public have been pointing out to me the litany of broken promises which include:

 
St. Michael’s Unit.

At a local level, Labour Leader Eamonn Gilmore, promised to protect South Tipperary General Hospital. Labour Minister, Kathleen Lynch, in government, closed down St Michael’s Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel and transferred it to Kilkenny.

 
Hospital Trolleys

We will “end the scandal of Hospital Trolleys” said Enda Kenny. The result is Trolley Chaos in our Emergency Departments, the closure of 2,000 hospital beds, the loss of 11,000 health staff and the loss of 2 million home help hours.
 
Water Tax

Through the 2011 General Election TESCO AD and in its election manifesto, The Labour Party promised to prevent the introduction of domestic water tax. In government they agreed to introduce this tax and Minister Alan Kelly is now implementing it.

Child Benefit

In the 2011 General Election Tesco AD, the Labour Party said it would prevent Fine Gael reducing Child Benefit. Labour leader Joan Burton, in government, did the opposite and cut Child Benefit.

 
FAMILY HOME TAX

Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny, said “ It Is Morally Wrong, Unjust and Unfair to Tax a Person’s Home”. But in Government, he introduced this unfair tax.

 
Lone Parents

Speaking in the Dáil on 18th April 2012, Minister Joan Burton said she would only proceed with plans to reform the One Parent Family Payment by 2014/15 if she got a “credible and bankable commitment” by the time of Budget 2013 that the Irish Government would put in place “a system of safe, affordable and accessible child care, similar to what is found in the Scandinavian countries to whose systems of social protection we aspire”.
Minister Burton went ahead with the changes without any such child care system being in place.

 
Crime

Enda Kenny promised to increase the Garda Force by 2,000 Gardaí. The result was 2,000 less Gardaí, 130 Garda Station closed and increased levels of rural crime.

 
Heating Allowances

Then there was the Labour Manifesto promise to invest in ending fuel poverty which causes unnecessary deaths of older people every winter. “However, Labour will also take immediate action to alleviate the risk of fuel poverty in the short term by reinvesting €40 million from the
carbon tax to alleviate fuel poverty, and by developing a national fuel
poverty strategy as set out in Labour’s Fuel Poverty and Energy
Conservation Bill.” Labour Party Manifesto 2011.
Instead, the heating allowances were cut by the Labour Leader
The Public are fed up of broken promises. They are taking the recent spate of promises from all the political parties with a large dose of salt.

 
The Door Steps say Don’t Believe Them and Don’t Let It Happen Again!

 
Seamus Healy TD
​​​​​​​​
Tel : 087-2802199

08/02/2016


imageAt 2pm today we march in Clonmel not just against the water charges but we march for change.

 

We march for the Right to:

 

– Have a health service which is fit for purpose.

 

– Education, including the restoration and increased provision of SNA’s, and an education which is truly free.

 

– Have gainful and decent employment which would provide dignity, respect and a living wage.

 

– Democratic Reform where citizens are at the heart of decision making.

 

– Housing, and to end homelessness and clearing of social housing waiting lists.

 

– Sustainable Energy, fighting climate change is not a ‘cost’ – it is a necessary strategy for human survival.

 

– Natural Resources. The assets of our nation were declared in the 1916 Proclamation as belonging to the citizens of Ireland, a Proclamation which
also pledged to cherish all the citizens of the state equally. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is one of the biggest threats to people’s ability to provide labour, social, and environmental protection and represents a proposed transfer of economic and political sovereignty from the Irish citizens to multi-national corporations.

 

– Equality, the right to equality encompasses social and economic rights which are implied and un-enumerated rights in our Constitution. These rights should be protected in legislation which will address the issues of poverty.

 

– Debt Justice, as past recklessness of financial speculation is imposing an intolerable burden on people’s future.

 

Just us at the Main Guard, Clonmel at 2pm.

 

Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199


Proposed closure of the Court House at Carrick on Suir, of the District Court Sittings in Tipperary Town, the Court office at Nenagh Courthouse and the actual closure of the Probate Office in the County is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped.
These proposed closures are part of a more widespread, focused and deliberate assault on Rural Ireland involving the stripping away of services.
This policy was commenced by the last Fianna Fail/ Green Party Government and has been continued even more aggressively by the current Fine Gael/Labour Coalition.
The destruction of rural Ireland involves the
• Closure of rural Garda Stations
• Closure of rural Post Offices ( now continuing by way of deliberate reduction in Social Welfare business and proposed salary cuts for Post Masters)
• Reduction in teacher numbers and increased class sizes in small rural schools
• Withdrawal of bus services north and south of the county including Carrick on Suir, Cahir and North Tipperary areas.
• Lack of effective Broadband Services
• Failure to provide GP Services
• Withdrawal of Medical Card offices which has created confusion, fear and trauma
• Regionalisation of Hospital Services
• Deliberate focus of job creation on the east coast area around Dublin and the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway to the detriment of rural counties like Tipperary.
I want to commend Muintir na Tire for the launching with other community groups of the “ Save Rural Ireland” campaign which focuses on the Post Office, GP, Broadband and flood risk and flood insurance areas among others. I will be strongly supporting this initiative.

The cuts to rural services are another form of austerity specifically targeted against rural Ireland based on centralisation and the baseless belief that bigger is best.
That of course is demonstrably untrue and is also diametrically opposed to the well-established and universally acknowledged principle of subsidiarity. In other words services are best and most effectively delivered as close as possible to the communities they serve.

I will be raising this way by way of Topical Issue and Parliamentary Question and I am calling on the Tipperary Government Oireachtas members, Minister Alan Kelly, Minister of State Tom Hayes and Senator Denis Landy to immediate halt any closure of Court Services in Tipperary and reverse the serious and deliberate assault on rural Ireland and its essential services.

Seamus Healy T.D.
Tel 087 2802199
3/2/2015


Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
This Finance Bill, the budget and general Government policy is based on spin, hype and, indeed, the Government’s lie that this country is broke.

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
The Deputy cannot use that word. Please withdraw it now.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
If the Government does not like that word, let us call it something else.

Peter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
Untrue.

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
It is not allowed under standing orders.

Peter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
Use the French word mensonge.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
It is completely untrue that this country is broke.

Michael Kitt (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
I take it that the Deputy is withdrawing that.

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)
The policies that follow from that and which are being implemented by this Government mean continued austerity for ordinary people. They mean continued austerity for low and middle-income families whom this Government are forcing to pay for a recession that they had no hand, act nor part in creating. The water charge is one of those austerity taxes, but ordinary people are now saying that they have had enough. It is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The policies in the budget and in the Finance Bill ensure that the gap between rich and poor has increased. The policies mean that the super-rich get off scot free and will not even be asked to pay their fair share of taxation. In recent days, the Minister’s press officer boasted in the newspapers that anyone earning over €100,000 a year will get €747 from this budget. That is nearly €15 per week, while the lowest earners get 90 cent per week. Low and middle-income families will face more austerity, while the very wealthy get support and are not asked to pay for anything.

We have high unemployment levels while there are over 100,000 on the housing waiting lists and there is a huge mortgage crisis. Irish children have fallen further and faster into poverty than in any other OECD country. It is shameful that 28.6% of Irish children currently live in poverty.

We also have high emigration, including 84,000 graduates who have left this country in recent years. They are now contributing to economies in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Ordinary people know that our health and education services have been devastated.

This country is not broke, however. All objective, independent analysis agrees that this is a very wealthy country indeed. Of course, the wealth is skewed in favour of wealthy people to such an extent that the poorest 10% pay more as a percentage of their income in tax than the wealthiest 10%. That is another absolutely shameful situation.
About 12 months ago in this Chamber, the former Minister of State, Deputy Joe Costello, told us that this was the eighth richest country in the world. That fact has been supported by objective analysis. We know, for instance, that the gross domestic product here per head of population is greater than in Germany, France or the United Kingdom.

That finding has been supported by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation in recent times. The German study shows that, despite being one of the richest countries in the EU, Ireland’s rating for distribution of wealth is 18th, in the bottom third of the 28 EU countries, along with Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia. As a result of the study, the foundation also cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. Ireland has a GDP around as high as Sweden’s, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and is one of the biggest losers in country comparisons. This country is very wealthy, but the wealth is in the hands of a very small percentage of the population that is not being asked to pay its fair share. Less than 12 months ago, the Minister for Finance told me that the top 10,000 income earners in the country earn €595,000 each per year. From the rich list published in the Sunday Independent by Nick Webb, we know the 300 wealthiest people in the country have increased their assets and income from €50 billion in 2010 to €62 billion, an increase of €12 billion. We know the financial assets of the wealthy are now at the level of the Celtic tiger era, at €324 billion.

It is time the Government made very wealthy people pay their fair share. I am talking about seriously wealthy people, not the ordinary individual with a redundancy payment or a retirement lump sum or who bought a house for retirement. I am talking about people with huge amounts of money, hundreds of millions or billions of euro each. They are not even asked to pay a wealth tax, which is one of the things the Government should do. It should introduce a wealth tax for very wealthy people, but I can see the Minister throwing his hands up in the air, as do the media and the establishment when people suggest it. We should remember there are six countries in the EU with a wealth tax. A wealth tax was introduced in this country by a former colleague of the Minister, Richie Ryan, but it was abolished by Fianna Fáil to suit its backers. A wealth tax is essential. Even a very small wealth tax would provide significant income, billions of euros, to address the issues of water, health and education services.


Seamus Healy TD—Leaders Questions Thursday April 10

Link: http://wp.me/p1Uvd5-B0

Minister Brendan Howlin , Labour, holds the second most senior economic ministry.

At leaders questions, Seamus Healy TD took the Labour Party to task for bringing in regressive Budgets which hit the poor harder than the rich (See ESRI Report on recent budgets http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/QEC2013Win_SA_Callan.pdf)

The 2014 budget was more unfair to the poor than the FF/Green budgets. He sought the restoration of the respite grant for carers, cuts in home heating allowances and child benefit. He called for increased taxes on the 10,000 who earn on average 595,000 per year each (Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3, 2012). Deputy Healy pointed out that the total gross financial assets of households (324 Billion) are now back above the peak 2006 level (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2013)

The bulk of these assets are held by the top 10% of the population (all those with mortgages and/or credit card debt have negative financial assets- houses, farms and business premises are not financial assets). Deputy Healy sought that a wealth tax be placed on very large financial assets of the super-rich.

The arrogant response of Minister Howlin (standing in for Eamonn Gilmore) was to describe the question as “drivel” and to accuse Deputy Healy of proposing “fantasy taxes” He suggested that an increase in income tax on those on 595,000 would not yield significant revenue (Conservative friends of the rich have been making this argument for centuries) . He claimed that the local property tax which leaves the financial assets of the wealthy untouched and applies to the unemployed was an adequate response.

Any reasonably numerate person can calculate that an extra tax on the total of 5.95 Billion earned each year by the top 10,000 income recipients and on the 324 billion in financial assets would bring significant extra revenue to the state. Howlin and the Labour Party do not want to listen. They attack the poor and those on middle incomes instead. That is why the Labour Party is heading for wipe-out and oblivion.

Seamus Healy TD

Irish Examiner Friday April 11 Juno McEnroe

Independent TD Seamus Healy yesterday called on the Government to introduce an asset or wealth tax in the next budget.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Mr Healy pointed to ESRI findings that the last budget had the greatest impact on low-income groups.

Labour had reneged on election pledges in 2011 and cut payments for the vulnerable, including child benefit, he said.

“It made promises with full knowledge of the situation in 2011. The assets of the super rich are back above peak levels in 2006, according to the Central Statistics Office,” Mr Healy said.

He called on the Coalition to introduce a wealth tax on those who earn over €595,000 a year.

Brendan Howlin, the public expenditure minister, rejected his criticism and said the TD engaged in “fantasy” taxes.



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