Nobody with a whit of common sense believes the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohue, and indeed the Government were not aware of the national children’s hospital debacle. It is in fact now crystal clear that the Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance were fully aware of the huge hospital overrun at the time of the last budget. The Minister for Finance had the chief Government procurement officer on the board of the hospital who was involved at all levels, including financial sub-committee level. The cover-up included confidentiality pledges to ensure the Government would not be formally or officially informed until after the budget. And why was that, that was because this Government wanted to continue to give huge tax concessions to the super-rich backers of this Government.
There is no justification for the Government delaying health and other capital projects using the excuse of the cost overrun on the children’s hospital project. The hospitals serving my constituency of Tipperary, South Tipperary General Hospital and University Hospital Limerick, are the most overcrowded in the country. I want to tell the Minister for Health that no cancellation, no suspension, no long-fingering and no delaying of capital projects affecting Tipperary will be tolerated and I include in that the completion and opening of the 40-bed modular unit at South Tipperary General Hospital, the building of a new 50-bed unit at South Tipperary General Hospital, the building of a new 100-bed unit at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and the building of a 60-bed unit at University Hospital Limerick.
The Irish super-rich are dripping with wealth and gaining more by the day. The Government’s policy is not only not to tax the super-rich but also to give them tax concessions. The Government is in fact the politically extremist representative of the super-rich at the expense of citizens generally in this country. I believe the Government should bring forward an emergency budget to claw back the €250 million worth of tax concessions given to the super-rich in the last three budgets, and I include in that those given to the 25,700 individuals with incomes ranging from €200,000 and in excess of €2 million.
It is time for the Minister for Health to go and to take the Minister for Finance with him and give the public an opportunity to make a decision on this Government in a General Election. It is time for Fianna Fáil and the Independents who are supporting the Government, it’s time for Deputies Lowry and Cahill and other Independents to call it out on this issue and support the motion.
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.
Seamus Healy TD
Deputy Seamus Healy has called on Minister Phil Hogan to immediately instruct Irish Water to clear blocked sewers. This problem is now evident in several areas of Clonmel and further afield.
Very serious public health and safety issues are arising as a result of the failure of Irish Water to Clear these sewers.
Local authorities have done this work in the past and Irish Water which has assumed the water and waste water responsibilities of local authorities must now carry out this work.
Urgent and immediate action by Minister Hogan and Irish Water is now required.
Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199