People Before Profit Alliance debate issue of developers and banks on RTE’s Frontline show

Members of the audience debated the statement that 'Small-time property developers deserve help from the taxpayer' . Contributions came from Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit among other panellists. Watch the show's debate by...

Councillor Brid Smith welcomes to decision to keep Cedar House open

In a statement today Cllr Brid Smith of the People Before Profit Alliance welcomed the decision to keep Cedar House Homeless Unit open.

Following a motion passed at the March meeting of Dublin City Council it has been agreed that  Cedar House Homeless Unit will not be closing until there is solid proof that replacement services are in place.

The motion proposed by Cllr Smith said “This Council condemns the proposed closure of Cedar House Homeless  Hostel in accordance with the strategy of the Homeless Agency,  “Pathway to Home”. We demand that this unit remains fully open and  continues the provision of services to homeless people in our city  until such time as alternative and adequate housing alternatives are  put in place. An essential 20 bed dormitory is due for closure by 30th  March 2010 and no adequate alternative has yet been identified and communicated. 30 individual rooms and all other services are due for  cessation by 30th September 2010.”

Cedar House provides services for up to 50 men per night and up to 50  men and women per day.  Services provided include: emergency accommodation, counselling, methadone maintenance programmes, personal development programmes,  educational programmes, doctor/nurse access, life skills programmes,  key workers, day drop in centre providing shower facilities, clean  clothing, bedding and  food.

HSE Cuts Mental Health Funding Even Further

In January 2006 the Government accepted the recommendations contained in an independent report that it had commissioned, Vision for Change (VFC), as the basis for its future mental health policy. In the four years since the report’s publication almost nothing has been done to realise its full implementation.
In Kerry, Vision into Action (VIA) that would see the roll out of the policy in the county is officially on hold because no progress is being made on establishing community mental health teams. I was told this in last January during a telephone conversation with a member of HSE staff in Kerry involved in VIA.

Written by Kieran McNulty, (People Before Profit Alliance- Tralee)

Bank workers protest at Dáil over threat of 750 job losses

UNITE workers from across the financial sector staged a protest at Dáil Éireann at lunchtime today as anger mounts over the lack of action and apparent interest from government at the plight of Bank of Scotland / Halifax workers who have been told that 750 jobs are to go.This is the first time a retail bank has closed in Ireland and the first time that compulsory redundancy notice has been served on Irish workers in the financial sector.

The protest, which took place from 1pm, will culminate in delivery of a letter to an Taoiseach Brian Cowen, demanding a response to the workers alternative proposal for the government creation of a third banking force. This proposal was sent to Cowen and Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan on February 8th but no response has yet been received.

Pension Plan is a New Attack on the Old

In the final analysis, our government should be judged by the way it treats children and the elderly. Long hospital waiting lists, schools in substandard buildings, high rates of child poverty, cuts to children's allowance, social welfare and pensions, abolishing the bin charges waivers.... The list goes on.

Mary Hanafin’s latest plan to punish pensioners is indeed part of a pattern.

Hanafin’s scheme will:
* Force everyone who is currently under the age of 49 to work until they are 68. No state pension will be provided until this date – so we can starve, beg or work despite tiredness and ill health.
* Reduced state pension for anyone who do not have 30 years of PRSI payments. If you have lived abroad or have been out of work for long periods, you will face difficulties.
* Reduced occupational pension for anyone entering the public sector. Instead of getting a proportion of your final salary, your pension will be brought down by the number of years you spent on lower wages.
* Forced contributions by workers to the private pension industry. Workers will be ‘auto-enrolled’ into an industry that rips them off and uses their savings to speculate and gamble. Even if you withdraw from a scheme, you will be automatically enrolled every two years and if you forget to withdraw within six months you lose your contributions.

Motion by Councillor Joan Collins relating to the Save Our Swimming pool campaign

For the City Council Sports Policy to commit to include single stand alone swimming pools as an important part of its strategic policy towards the development of sport and leisure in the city.   For this...

City management’s reasons for closing much needed pools in disadvantaged areas

The follow is a copy of the Managers Report 13/11/09:
The proposal to close the 3 pools emanate from a number of circumstances.
a) All three pools are over 30 years old, have reached the end of their design life and are effectively obsolete.
b) The adopted City Council Sports Policy is to provide integrated regional sports and leisure centres with a range of facilities including, pool, gym, steamroom/sauna, aerobics studios, sports halls, all-weather floodlit pitches; these top-class facilities to be located in commercial urban growth centres. This allows a range of family sport activities to be combined with other activities such as shopping, visit to library, restaurant visit etc. and generates more users. None of the 3 pools fulfil the above requirements. No credible marketing campaign could be mounted round any of them.
c) All 3 pools are grossly underused with previous users moving to other modern facilities both private and public.
d) All 3 pools cost between 5 and 10 times their income to operate and have a combined operating loss of €1.1m approximately. As previously stated on a number of occasions, this loss can be reduced by opening for less hours (say cancel all public hours and open for consolidated school/club use only). In addition all three pools require capital remedial works to plants, have high operational costs due to their age, and now require a major refurbishment if they are to continue to operate on a long-term basis. Comparison with similar private pools is not quite like with like as schools and religious facilities do not pay rates. It will be recalled that it was stated that significant voluntary work went into some of these pools also. (In relation to staff costs of 3 pools it should be noted that manning is kept to minimum numbers and that pay and allowances are at a nationally agreed rates for existing staff).

Motion from People Before Profit Councillors Passed By City Council

Dublin City Council votes to Save Homeless Service

Last night Dublin City Council voted overwhelmingly to save Cedar House Homeless Unit. The Council is now seeking that the Homeless Agency reverses its decision to close the unit.
Cedar House provides services for up to 50 men per night and up to 50 men and women per day.
Services provided include: emergency accommodation, counselling, methadone maintenance programmes, personal development programmes, educational programmes, doctor/nurse access, life skills programmes, key workers, day drop in centre providing shower facilities, clean clothing, bedding and food.

The motion said:
“This Council condemns the proposed closure of Cedar House Homeless Hostel in accordance with the strategy of the Homeless Agency, “Pathway to Home”. We demand that this unit remains fully open and continues the provision of services to homeless people in our city until such time as alternative and adequate housing alternatives are put in place. An essential 20 bed dormitory is due for closure by 30th March 2010 and no adequate alternative has yet been identified and communicated. 30 individual rooms and all other services are due for cessation by 30th September 2010.”

In proposing the motion People Before Profit Councillor Brid Smith said: