No “Left Cover” for a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil Government

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Return to power of FG/FF, who allowed health service capacity fall to dangerous levels and failed to dismantle a dysfunctional two-tier system, is the last thing that is needed after Covid-19 crisis

People Before Profit urges parties of the left not to provide “left cover” for a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil government

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit, responding to the efforts of Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil to return to power, has said “a return to power of Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil is the last thing the country needs in the aftermath of the Covid19 crisis”.

He said, both these parties had “run down the capacity of the health service to dangerously low levels” and had failed to dismantle the “two tier, semi privatised” health system, and even now, in the throes of the Covid crisis, were pandering to private “for-profit interests” – policy choices that are now a clear impediment to mounting the optimum response to the threat of Covid-19.

Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed to the low level of ICU capacity, poor staffing levels in the health service, shortages of PPE, slowness in ramping up testing levels and the particular crisis in nursing homes, as problems rooted in the under-resourced, semi privatised character of the health service – all of which are the legacy of Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil’s failed and misguided policies.

The People Before Profit TD urged parties who see themselves on the left and who benefited from the vote for change on February 8th, not to provide “progressive cover” for a return to power of Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that parties of the left who wanted to see fundamental change in Ireland, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid crisis, should work towards the creation of a left government rather than simply propping up Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The dire failure of Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil in essential areas such as health, housing, critical infrastructure and climate change was clearly evident before the Covid crisis.  However, the potentially devastating consequences of failing to resource and staff a single tier, integrated, fully public health service and, even worse, to impose austerity on these vital services are now even more clearly apparent confronted with the threat of Covid19.

“I urge parties and independents of the left not to go down the well worn path of supporting a Fine Gael /Fianna Fail government.  Now more than ever, in the midst of this unprecedented crisis, we need a fundamental and radical reordering of the priorities of our society which put human need and our environment before profit.”