6.5 hours on Brexit and only 100 mins on vaccine and Covid crisis – “totally unacceptable”
Richard Boyd Barrett, TD for People Before Profit and the party’s rep on the Dáil Business Committee has described as “totally unacceptable” the government’s proposal for, in an already severely curtailed Dáil Schedule, to allow only 100 mins for a debate and questions on the vaccine programme while allowing for 6.5 hours for 3 separate debates on Brexit.
Deputy Boyd Barrett has written to the Dáil business committee on Friday and again today to object to the government’s proposed schedule, asking for more time to be given to debate on Covid and Vaccine.
People Before Profit has also objected to the government’s plans to reduce Dáil sittings to two days a week.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “The government’s short term and misguided prioritisation of profit and big business ahead of public health is precisely what led to the frightening and deadly surge in Covid-19 infection we are now witnessing.
“Under pressure from big business, the government ignored public health advice in November and December, and this led directly to the disastrous spike we are now seeing.
“Rather than learn the lessons of the recent surge and prioritise getting Covid-19 under control, as the major focus for the Dáil, the government have scheduled 6.5 hours debate on Brexit with only a token debate of 100 mins on the vaccine and the Covid crisis.
“A cynic might say this is also a deliberate ploy by the government to drown out criticism of their Covid strategy.
“The irony of the government’s misguided priorities and focus is that when Covid cases are rising uncontrollably, it will do and is doing far more economic damage than Brexit. We cannot even think about a return to normal economic activity until we sort out the pandemic.”