Aontú opposes Partial Shut Down of the Dáil during Crisis
Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín TD has stated that he “opposes the partial shutdown of the Dáil during this Crisis. The establishment parties have agreed to hold just two six-hour days for Dáil sessions a week. This is completely inadequate. The government has said that is ok for 30 adult students to sit in a small classroom 3 days a week, however they say its not ok for a reduced number of TDs to sit in the biggest convention centre in the country for the same level of time”.
“We understand that there is a surge in Covid numbers. The country is in a serious situation. Serious and far reaching decisions are being taken by the government with little or no democratic oversight or accountability. In my experience its when people say that now is not the time to be asking questions, is the most important time to be asking questions”.
“Despite it being nearly a year since the first case there is little or nothing learned by the government. Mícheal Martin has stated that 135,000 people will be fully vaccinated by the 1st of March. That’s 2.7% of the population. This is an outrageously low figure. At this rate the country will be in some form of severe restrictions for months. Where are the daily numbers for vaccinations? Where are the daily rates in each county? Where are the vaccinations being delivered from around the country?
Where are the timelines for delivery? Why is the EU a laggard in procurement”?
“In relation to mandatory testing. It is still mind blowing that even today, on day 313 of Covid, the test that travellers from South Africa and Britain are to take in Ireland is not mandatory. The new variant has reached 'significant levels' across country yet we have gone the best part of the year with the government refusing to test people entering the country. I have asked the government to test on entry to the state since before flights were arriving from ravaged northern Italy. Yet the government refused. This has been one of the most damaging aspects of the decisions made by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens”.
“The inability to truly ramp up capacity in our health services and the closing down again of key health services is a scandal. In the first half of last year Simon Harris launched an “Ireland on Call plan” that had 70,000 people step forward to subscribe. Despite the pressure Health Care Staff are under, this is nowhere to be seen. After €18 billion in extra spending during the last budget the dial has hardly been turned on hospital capacity and now critical diagnosis and treatment will be withheld and delayed to cancer, heart disease, stroke and mental health patients”.
“The government’s handling of this has been a disaster. Now is not the time for an accountability holiday. All political parties need to put their shoulders to the wheel to constructively work together”.