Election 2016 Preview

election 2016 pic

The upcoming general election will have at least ten candidates for the Dublin Bay South constituency, which covers Dublin 4 as well as Ranelagh, Rathmines, Terenure, and certain parts of the inner south city. There will be four TD places up for grabs for this constituency.

At the time of going to print, the election was yet to be announced but in anticipation of an announcement by the Taoiseach we asked each candidate who was known to be running for election for their responses to the following two questions. Their responses are below.

1. What are your (or your party’s) top three areas of focus if elected?
2. What is your main priority that you will focus on in the Dublin 4 area for the next five years?

Top three areas of focus:
a) Housing is the number one issue. With 1,500 children in emergency accommodation and the Glass Bottle Site sitting empty I strongly believe that we have an emergency in housing and Government needs to treat it as an Emergency.
b) We will also abolish both the Water Tax and the Property Tax because they do not take into account people’s ability to pay.
c) The Accident and Emergency department in St.Vincent’s must be improved. Being there recently it looked like a war zone and this department must be brought up to a modern standard
For Dublin 4:
Housing. Ensuring that new homes are built so the unacceptable conditions families are currently forced to live in will be eased.
Protecting our Post Offices is important because they are an important part of the Social infrastructure for communities and particularly our elderly.

lucinda creighton thumb

Top three areas of focus:

I have proudly served this area for over 10 years as a councillor, TD and European Minister, and my main priority is to continue to represent the interests of this community in the next Dáil.
Enda Kenny will be the next Taoiseach, so the only question that remains is what type of government do you want to serve with him?
My top three priorities are to reduce income tax for working families, €500 million tax relief for childcare and serve as a watchdog in the next government to end political cronyism.
For Dublin 4:
Investment in more schools in the area, and helping to support more after-school activities like the Coderdojo classes I started in Star of the Sea in Sandymount.
Higher Property taxes need to bring about a greater delivery of local services in this area, and we can’t keep forcing Dublin 4 homeowners to pay higher property taxes with no benefit to the locality.

mannix thumb
Top three areas of focus:
a) Complete overhaul of public services: hospitals, waste management, public housing, parking, amenities and social/cultural offerings.
b) Absolute political reform: The Senate promised us reform; nothing happened. The political parties promised us reform; nothing happened. The old boys club remains intact. We need to reconstitute the way we do political representation in our country reflecting the concerns of the electorate rather than fulfilling wish lists of TD’s.
c) Building local economies: emphasis on SMEs and local enterprise creating local employment.
For Dublin 4:
Establishing a strong independent representation to ensure that Dublin 4 retains its unique identity by planning for a balanced residential and commercial mix with an emphasis on education and sport. Grow cultural spaces to facilitate the creative economy for artists who live/work here.
Create a family and business friendly environment with strong policing and safety for all its residents where citizens can live/grow as part of the greater Dublin city.
KEvin thunb

Top three areas of focus:
a) Job creation and continued economic growth so that the recovery reaches all.
b) Increased spending for public services in education, health, childcare and justice – smaller classrooms, more capacity in our hospitals, more Gardaí on our streets and affordable childcare for working families. That means hiring more teachers, nurses, doctors and Gardaí.
c) Building more affordable and social housing so that families can rent and buy homes in our area.
For Dublin 4:
Securing more capital investment when the Capital Plan is reviewed in 2017 to build more schools, flood defences and invest in public transport, roads and cycling. We have to invest in Dublin’s future. For more investment to happen the economy has to keep growing and we have to get more people back in work.

glenna thumb
Top three areas of focus:
a) To build a strong, sustainable society with stable public finances. Tackling family bills such as childcare, high rents, water charges, car insurance, energy costs, prescription charges and public transport costs.
b) Over 10 years we will end the two-tier health system by building an Irish NHS with a strong emphasis on primary care, recruiting more GPs, practice nurses, public health nurses, speech and language therapists etc.
c) Tackle corruption by establishing the Independent anti-corruption agency and update corruption legislation.
For Dublin 4:
Improve quality and access to education. Aim to reduce primary school classes progressively to 20:1 ratio. Re-establish the role of guidance counsellors. Change laws so that children can’t be refused access to a local school on religious grounds. Reduce third level charges by €1,000. Back local businesses to grow by focusing on their needs as we do with multinationals. Give SMEs a better deal on rates and reduce their overall administrative burden.
annette thumb

Top three areas of focus:
a) Abolish the water charges and Irish Water.
b) Get rid of the property tax which takes no account of ability to pay and discriminates against Dublin 4
c) Remove the USC tax for those earning under €70,000 a year.
We can pay for this if we remove the tax exile status of wealthy billionaires like Denis O’Brien and make the big corporations pay a minimum effective tax of 12.5%. (They pay less than half of that currently)
For Dublin 4:
We need some environmental justice. The Ringsend-Sandymount area of Dublin has become a prime location for waste disposal. I want to stop the incinerator.

eoghan thumb

Top three areas of focus:

With my colleagues in Fine Gael I want to build on the 135,000 jobs created since 2012 and work to see a further 200,000 jobs created. With so many people returning to work this will give us scope to reduce income taxes because the tax burden on families is way too high. We can do this responsibly while eliminating the deficit and reducing the national debt. The increased jobs, productivity and revenue will mean that we can also invest in our future responsibly, in things like schools and transport and social housing. This is only possible so long as the recovery continues.
For Dublin 4:
Choice in education. If schools are happy to take State funding, they should be happy to take local kids – irrespective of religion. I will focus on a new Schools Admissions Bill, fighting for new schools (like the new Shellybanks ET in Sandymount), and patronage divestment.

jim thumb 2

Jim states the he “has been a Dublin City Councillor since 2009. He works as a barrister and has been legal adviser to the Fianna Fail front bench since 2011. He is a former Leinster rugby player.”
Top three areas of focus:
(a) Greater state investment to facilitate the building or purchase of 45,000 new social housing units over the next five years.
(b) Refocusing our education system to meet the requirements of students and employers, and to encourage the study of maths and sciences.
(c) Removing most non-violent offenders from our prisons, and introducing laws that are much less tolerant of acts of violence against the person.
For Dublin 4:
If elected, his main priority for Dublin 4 will be to maintain it as a thriving residential area that has sufficient green-field recreational facilities for young and old.

kate thumb
Top three areas of focus:
Because I am self-employed, an employer of 25 people and pay commercial rates, I would like to use my experience to support local businesses. Incentivising filling empty units by reducing rates for startups, as well as reducing rates and getting better services for established businesses is one of my priorities. The burden of childcare costs at the start of life and the quality of nursing home care in later life need to be addressed. Timely access to good health care and early intervention for people in need of medical services must be the cornerstone of all health policy.
For Dublin 4:
The amount of property tax people of Dublin 4 pay is disproportionately unfair and a particularly heavy burden on older people not bringing in any income. I want to have a fairer system of property tax, because simply expecting people to pay a bill based on external market forces is not an equitable approach.

eamonn thumb2
I was born and raised in south Dublin and have spent the last twenty years working for local people as a campaigner, a city councillor, a TD and Government Minister. Now I want to put that experience to use at a critical crossroads for our country.
My priorities are to promote practical solutions that improve everyone’s quality of life and deliver a sustainable and secure future for the next generation. That means thinking beyond the next election and planning long-term for our national and local communities. I will fight for better, more affordable housing, which is linked in to great public services and transport networks. I will see that free, healthy school lunches are provided for all children to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic. I will ensure that we play our part in tackling climate change by retrofitting our public and private buildings, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

By Ferg Hayden