Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty has said that plans to “privatise” several bus routes that operate in the Dublin 15 area was “irrational, ideological and very dangerous for commuters”.
The routes being put out to tender include the 17a, 76a, 220,236,238,239 and 270. Therefore one third of all routes at risk of being privatised are in the Dublin West constituency.
Deputy Nulty said “The subvention to Dublin Bus is dreadfully low by European standards for a capital city and I believe Minister Varadkar is using our bus network as a ‘dangerous’ experiment in old style Thatcherite privitisation plans”.
“In addition it is absolutely astonishing that the Labour Party is prepared to stand over these proposals. They have no bottom line when it comes to protecting public services and their silence on this issue is deplorable”.
“Many residents will remember a campaign successfully won to alter the 238 route a couple of years ago to facilitate older citizens. That route change was agreed too not based on the profit motive but out of service to the public. A private company without that ethos will not be so responsive”.
“I would challenge Ministers Varadkar or Burton to a public debate on these proposals at a time, place and venue of their choosing. These proposals do not serve the public interest and must be resisted”.
At a press conference this morning, I joined with a group of TDs and representatives of civil society organisations to call on the Government to reinstate the Christmas bonus, the once off end of year payment for elderly people, carers and long-term social welfare recipients. The payments were abolished by Fianna Fáil in 2009 and have not been reinstated by the present Government. The TDs who supported the reinstatement of the payments at the press conference were: John Halligan, Tommy Broughan and Thomas Pringle. Nessa Childers MEP also supported the call.
Representatives of civil society organisations who spoke at the press conference were: Gerry Scully (Aga Action), Robert Lynch (INOU), Mike Allen (Focus Ireland), Frances Byrne (OPEN) and John Douglas (ICTU). Age action, Barnados, the National Womens Council supported the call. Journalist Fintan O’Toole and poet Theo Dorgan also supported the initiative.
The restoration of the Christmas double payments would cost 260 million euro.
Reinstating the Christmas bonus would mean a little bit more money toward Christmas presents for children. It would mean a few euro extra would be available for trips to local facilities and amenities. Furthermore, given that older people and those on low incomes are struggling to heat their homes at this time of year, the Christmas bonus would help pay for essential fuel costs.
Patrick at Connolly Hospital
Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty has said “urgent and immediate action is required to address record overcrowding at Connolly Hospital”.
“Figures derived by the INMO trolley and ward watch demonstrate that 2,351 patients were left lying on trollies in accident and emergency between March and September 2013. This is at record levels”.
“The notion that someone who is sick can be left on a trolley is deplorable. It is putting at risk the spread of infection and completely undermines the dignity and privacy of a person”.
“We have two cabinet ministers in Dublin West (Burton and Varadkar) who proclaim their influence in government yet they are operating a hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil approach to our hospital. Yet it is their government’s ruthless slashing of the health budget which is hurting our hospital and the patients who use it”.
“A huge number of posts remain unfilled in the hospital and many patients are not being discharged until the evening times which is further undermining operations within the hospital”.
“I am demanding a Dail debate on this issue to address what is now a crisis. Staff on the frontline are at breaking point because budgetary bottom lines not patients are driving decision making within the hospital”.
Trolley and Ward watch figures can be obtained from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation(INMO).