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Budget shows that the Government Does Not Understand the Magnitude of the Crisis Engulfing the ‘Have Nots’ in Ireland

Budget shows that the Government Does Not Understand the Magnitude of the Crisis Engulfing the ‘Have Nots’ in Ireland


Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín stated “the Government still does not understand the magnitude and urgency of the crisis engulfing half the population of Ireland”.


“There is roughly 1 million people in some form of housing distress. Either grappling with spiralling rents, on housing waiting lists, priced out of the market for a new home or in mortgage distress from the last property crash. Yet today this government introduced a Zoned Land Tax that will not be put into place for 2 or 3 years. This new tax will actually be a reduction from the 7% Vacant Site Tax that it replaces. Site prices are increasing beyond 3% and as a result this tax will not change the behaviour of land hoarders. There was nothing in this budget about the 180,000 vacant homes in the state. Are these the actions of a government that appreciates the urgency of the housing crisis.    


“Total extra Government investment to deal with the 1 million people on Hospital Waiting Lists is 250m. That works out at €250 for each person waiting.  The average cost of a bed in a public hospital is estimated at €889 a day. Is this the action of a government that appreciates the urgency of the Health crisis”.   


“Aontú had called for a 'Carbon Tax + Market Price' limit for energy. If the purpose of carbon tax is to push people away from fossil fuel through price and the Market has already achieved that price through inflation, how can you still argue for the Cabon Tax to be still applied. Imposing a tax years in advance without knowing the circumstance of people at that time is a blunt and dangerous fiscal tool that will do enormous damage to people. The funding for energy upgrades to houses will provide for 22,000 houses next year. There are 1.6million homes in the state. It would take 72 years to upgrade each house in the state at this rate. The 50% travel discount proposed in Budget22 will effect less than 7% of the population and that’s if many of them can access public transport at all”.


“The Budget is also damaging for what it left out. There is no Regional Proofing in Budget22. There is no effort at all to re-balance the skewed spatial development that is leading to a lopsided country. Ireland will still be an overheating capital, a sprawling commuter belt & rural areas emptying out of young people. We called for a baseline 2:1 euro investment for outside of Dublin. This would mean that we would get real about regional development. For every euro spent in Dublin we would invest the very least 2 euro spent outside the capital.   


“There was no mention of Government waste in Budget22. Given the colossal impact of waste on our budgetary expenditure this cannot go on.  Aontú is calling for a Commission to Prevent Government Waste to root out the spiralling waste in so many Government projects. The addition of the word National seems to guarantee a massive government overspend as can be seen in the National Children Hospital, the National Maternity Hospital, the National Convention Centre and the National Broadband plan. Each citizen owes a debt of €50,000 as a result, in part, of the outlier Covid restriction decisions the Government made. This figure is set to increase”.


“Indeed Ireland spent twice the EU average on Covid related costs because Ireland restricted far longer and far harder than any other country. Over €40 billion was spent on the Government’s outlier restrictions policy. This is a figure comparable to the Bank Bailout.  But shockingly Aontú will be the only party in all the Dail who will challenge the government on this”.   


“The Budget made little or no provision for the Mica crisis. This is startling considering given that on Friday a Government Minister committed to 100% redress. They have set aside billions for a Covid contingency. Without a Mica contingency, how will any of the investment necessary be delivered next year”.   


“Ireland is also outlier in terms of how little the state funds on childcare. Today’s budget does not change that fact. Ireland invests a mere 0.3% of GDP in childcare. Today’s increase in funding fails to bring us in line with either the OECD average or the UN recommendations. This a sector that is on the brink of all our protest from parents, workers and providers alike. We cannot  provide high-quality, affordable childcare when we are not prepared to fund it. Budget 2022 will have a negligible impact in terms of alleviating the immediate crisis ongoing in the sector”.

By Aontú Press | 12 October, 2021

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The Irish political system is radically broken

In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.