Solidarity PBP say ‘alternative left government’ possible
Time for voters to ‘think left, move left, move red, move green, have a new type of politics’
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett claimed the ‘political establishment’ of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael has ‘failed spectacularly’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has claimed it is possible to have an “alternative left government” after this general election.
Speaking at the Solidarity People Before Profit (PBP) election launch in Dublin, the Dún Laoghaire TD stressed that almost 50 per cent of the electorate voted for parties other than Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
He claimed the “political establishment” of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael has “failed spectacularly” to deliver on housing and homelessness, health, climate change and on the growing cost of living”.
The “beginning of wisdom and change is to break the stranglehold of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil”, he said. “We are willing to discuss with others on the left who are principled and willing to embark on a radical strategy of transformation in Irish society.”
But his colleague, Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, believed the outcome was likely to be one of the two large parties with other parties joining a coalition.
“It is going to be all the more vital to have Socialist TDs in a bloc who stand for the concerns of working people,” said the Dublin West TD.
Solidarity People Before Profit is running candidates in 31 constituencies and aims to retain its six seats.
They are hoping for “six plus”, said Mr Boyd Barrett.
The group will concentrate its campaign on housing, health, climate action and cost of living and the will attempt to reverse the intention to increase to 67 the age at which people become eligible for the State pension.
Mr Boyd Barrett said the State’s two largest parties had failed because they “are interested primarily in looking after vulture funds and big corporations who have seen absolutely rocketing profits and enormous economic growth that is going to the few at the top and not to ordinary working people or to public services”.
FG and FF landlords
Dublin South-Central TD Bríd Smith said “we need [to send] a strong message to the conservative parties, we need to think left, move left, move red, move green and have a new type of politics in this country”.
She said the party would reverse the pension age from 67 and 68 to 65. Describing it as “an austerity measure in disguise”, she said that if people did not get their pension at 65, and had to sign on for jobseeker’s benefit, their “ income is down about €50 a week”.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry said that “by the law of averages” one in three Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs are landlords. “This has been a landlords’ Government in a landlords’ Dáil.”
The Cork North-Central TD said that if instead of giving land to private developers and landlords the State directly built social houses, it would create the same number of homes over 30 years and save €23 billion.