People Before Profit with the support of RISE and Solidarity have called on the other opposition leaders to join together to back a Zero-Covid or elimination strategy in order to make the current lockdown the final lockdown
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “Yesterday evening People Before Profit wrote to the leaders of the opposition parties and groups seeking their support and interest in joining a united front in backing and calling for a Zero-Covid policy. The government’s policy has failed spectacularly with disastrous consequences on society, people’s mental health and crucially our health services and health workers.
“We believe that we urgently need to break from the strategy and policies that have allowed this latest dire surge in Covid19 and adopt a strategy, that is about us chasing the virus instead of the virus chasing us, in and out of a terrible cycle of surge and lockdown. Even with the vaccine roll out we are facing several further cycles of surge and lockdown before we reach population immunity, unless we break from the current strategy. We believe we need to follow the example of New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and elsewhere who have successfully pursued an elimination strategy, with the result that most people most of the time are living relatively normal lives with far fewer fatalities and sickness. By aiming to eliminate community transmission, we can make this pandemic actually manageable whilst we wait for effective rollout of the vaccine.
“Many of the opposition parties have been justifiably critical of aspects of the government strategy but we believe we have an obligation, not just to criticise, but to offer an alternative. So we hope the opposition parties will seriously consider the proposal to unite behind a Zero-Covid strategy.”
Paul Murphy TD said: “The government’s failed approach is responsible for Ireland having the worst rates of Covid in the world. For too long, however, other opposition parties have gone along with the government’s yo-yo strategy and let them off the hook. But there is a growing momentum for a Zero Covid strategy first put forward by PBP and RISE, with the Social Democrats now advocating it too. This can be stepped up now if Sinn Fein and the other opposition parties would throw their substantial weight behind this approach. The government would then be under real pressure to accept a strategy which can actually allow our society and economy to re-open before vaccination is completed.” something like that?
“As part of a Zero Covid strategy, we also need socialist policies to ensure that workers are bailed out. This means restoring the €350 Covid payment, providing sick pay and childcare leave for all workers, banning evictions and rent write offs for individuals and small businesses who need it. It also means requisitioning the private hospitals and taxing those billionaires and big businesses like Amazon who are making huge profits out of this crisis.”