People Before Profit welcome withdrawal of proposal to suspend Dáil sitting
People Before Profit say it is critically important to maintain democratic oversight and debate during public health emergency as big policy decisions made and public have many questions requiring answers from government
People Before Profit welcome the withdrawal of the proposal that the Dáil would not sit this Thursday, and for a number of weeks until after Easter.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, who is a member of the Dáil Business Committee, said that he was glad that the objections of his group to the proposed suspension of the Dáil for an extended period had been headed. He said that he was surprised and concerned that moves had been made to suspend sittings.
He cited some issues that have been raised with elected representatives of People Before Profit which need to be debated in the Dáil:
· The proposed policy decision to revert to a two-tier health service after the Covid 19 crisis has ended
· Issues of income and people being refused the Covid 19 payment
· Testing and PPE in nursing homes
· Overcrowded living conditions and accommodation
He said: “Whilst I am very glad the objections that we had raised to the suspension of the Dáil have been heard and acted on I was deeply concerned that there had been a proposal to prevent the sitting of the parliament.
“During this public health emergency people have very serious concerns and questions that must be heard, debated and answered by government. Very big decisions are being made by the government which must be discussed.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett cited the example of the Taoiseach intimating that the two-tier health service would be reinstated after the Covid 19 crisis ends.
“I think, for example, it is very concerning that yesterday the Taoiseach would propose that we go back to a failed model of healthcare provision, namely the public-private two-tier system that even before this crisis was stretched beyond capacity.
“We will be making the point that the two-tier system is not fit to provide for the needs of our country during the Covid 19 crisis or in normal times as can be seen from successive years of the trolley crisis, overcrowding in wards and staffing issues. We will make the point that we should continue to take private hospitals permanently under public ownership and control because the Covid 19 crisis has demonstrated beyond any doubt that only a fully public, single tier healthcare service is capable of protecting public health and providing for the medical needs of the people of this state. There are also big questions about the cost of paying the private hospitals on a temporary basis as the Taoiseach is proposing rather than simple absorbing the private healthcare system into a fully public nation health service.
“As well as big policy decisions which need to be debated, as TDs we are receiving a constant flow of questions, queries and concerns from members of the public on a whole range of issues that need to be answered by the government and this can only happen if the Dáil continues to sit.”