Independent TD for Wicklow and East Carlow. Fighting for job creation, economic justice and political reform.

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More must be done for thousands of households in Mortgage arrears

More must be done for thousands of households in Mortgage arrears

The Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform has issued a report on the mortgage arrears resolution process. It highlights the inadequacies of the Government’s response to date. The Government’s failure to act decisively means we have turned an economic crisis into a human one. As legislators, we’ve been...
Independent analysis of the HSE: What's the diagnosis?

Independent analysis of the HSE: What’s the diagnosis?

I recently asked Minister Howlin whether he has commissioned any independent analysis on potential savings in the Irish health system since 2011 and if he thinks such analysis would be useful. The Minister said he hadn’t and that the specifics of reform in the Health system weren’t a matter for...
How to improve School Admissions

How to improve School Admissions

On Friday, june 20, 2014, I discussed the Draft Admission to Schools Bill, designed to improve how we regulate the admission of children to primary and post primary schools with Minister Quinn. This legislation is of interest to people in North Wicklow due to school admissions issues related to the...
Why I will not take part in this Banking Inquiry

Why I will not take part in this Banking Inquiry

On Tuesday morning the Taoiseach ended any hope of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry working free of Cabinet control. In an extraordinary statement on the floor of the House, he admitted the Government majority, being railroaded through, was so the Government could set the terms of reference, pass the final report,...
Ireland's Cashless Recovery

Ireland’s Cashless Recovery

More and more people are asking why, if the economy’s turning, they still have less and less money in their pockets. They hear things are improving, but their daily reality is that it’s getting harder and harder to pay the bills. I spoke recently with a grocer who’s been in...
Latest entries
Talking about reform at the MacGill Summer School

Talking about reform at the MacGill Summer School

I was delighted to be invited to speak at the MacGill Summer School this July. The theme was whether we can meet the challenges ahead without fundamental reform of our politics and institutions. My theory was that all reform of institutions (educations, HSE, the Dail, etc.) are hamstrung by the lack of reform we’ve seen...
The HSE must minimise cuts to St. Catherine’s

The HSE must minimise cuts to St. Catherine’s

A number of parents have been in touch with me stating that the HSE will be making higher than expected cuts to the budget of St.Catherine’s. I have been working closely with senior management in both St.Catherine’s and the HSE since it emerged that core funding was to be cut. I have also spoken Directly...
Protecting the Free Travel Scheme

Protecting the Free Travel Scheme

Last Week I spoke on a motion that called on the Government to fully support and retain the Free Travel Scheme in its current form as a universal benefit to all people aged 66 and over, and to work towards progressing the National Positive Ageing Strategy. I specifically wanted to raise the issue of the...
Any chance of Equality Budgeting, Minister?

Any chance of Equality Budgeting, Minister?

In July, I asked Minister Brendan Howlin whether he has considered any of the proposals in the Equality Budgeting Submission I sent him last year, and whether he would provide a distributional analysis of the proposed budgetary measures to Dail Eireann, before budgets are passed. Equality Budgeting is an approach to economic policy-making that uses...
Debt issue must be tackled for SBCI to succeed

Debt issue must be tackled for SBCI to succeed

Wedged between Garth Brooks on Wednesday and Cabinet musical chairs on Friday, something very useful happened in the Dáil on Thursday. Legislation was passed to create a new publicly-owned bank. The bank could lend up to €5bn to small- and medium-sized companies in Ireland. If this can be matched with policies to tackle over-indebtedness, we...
What would a wealth tax cost us?

What would a wealth tax cost us?

We shouldn’t introduce a wealth tax in Ireland – we should makes changes to the ill-conceived property tax to turn it into a real wealth tax that’s stable, smart and reasonable. Here are four quick reasons why. One, the property tax is neither the wealth tax, nor the local service fund, we’re told it is....