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Gerald Nash TD
LABOUR NEWS Connolly Hall, Palace Street, Drogheda Office: 041 9810811 Email: email@example.com Web: www.geraldnash.com Follow me on Facebook
k my seat as a TD for Louth and It’s now over a year since I too East Meath. ny unity to update you on the ma I would like to take this opport on. which I have been working issues, both local and national s , it was clear that the country wa When we were elected to office rse se. The situation was far wo on the brink of economic collap outgoing administration. than had been described by the e l the country back from the edg Our immediate task was to pul restore Ireland’s battered of the cliff, provide stability and Day-by-day we are repairing the reputation. This has been done. are rebuilding our economy and damage done to our country. We society. l commitment from Europe to dea The fact that Ireland secured a ws us by the last government sho with the banking debt foisted on r. Passing the Stability Treaty in how far we have come in a yea result. late May helped us to achieve this ad, but there are many reasons There will be tough decisions ahe to be optimistic for the future. a lfare rates in our first Budget at Having protected basic social we t tha e sur ke will continue to ma time of unprecedented crisis, we fairly. I look forward to the resources we have are shared our community in the months continuing my work with you and and years ahead.
NEW SCHOOL BUILDINGS FOR LOUTH & EAST MEATH Providing new schools for our increasing population and replacing unsuitable, expensive prefab accommodation is a priority for Labour. New schools get construction workers back to work. I have worked to deliver: ■
A new primary school, Scoil Oilibheir Naofa which will open in September on Drogheda’s Ballymakenny Road
A new Educate Together second-level school for Drogheda to be built in 2014
An extension to St. Joseph’s CBS secondary school, Newfoundwell Road to commence in 2014
A brand new school building for Laytown with the construction of a new school for Scoil An Spiorad Naomh commencing in 2014
A New school for Gaelscoil An Bhradain Feasa, Mill Road, Mornington
Scoil Naisiunta Realt Na Meara separate facilities for the Boys and Girls National Schools
An extension to Whitecross National School, Julianstown
A new building for Ardee Educate Together to commence building in 2014
An extension to the Ardee Community School in 2015
Extension to Scoil Ui Mhuiri, Dunleer in 2014-2015
Prefab replacements for St Joseph’s CBS Secondary School, Drogheda; Scoil Bhride Lann Leire, Dunleer; St. Brigid’s School, Drogheda; St Patricks NS, Monasterboice and St Colmcilles NS, Togher.
PROTECTING FAMILY HOMES Families under pressure must be allowed stay in their homes. The new Personal Insolvency Bill and schemes such as ‘Mortgage to Rent’ will mean that families should stay in their own homes if they are struggling with mortgage repayments. Reforming our insolvency laws can be a game-changer for struggling families. New bankruptcy laws will have a major impact on the dynamic between lenders and distressed mortgage holders and business owners trying to make ends meet. I have worked hard to secure €2.5 million in new funding for social housing in Louth which will allow the second phase of the Mell housing scheme to proceed. I am also delivering a new 25 home scheme at Moneymore which will commence in a matter of weeks.
STIMULUS PACKAGE DELIVERS KEY PROJECTS FOR DROGHEDA & EAST MEATH I have helped to deliver a long-awaited new Courthouse for Drogheda which will be a boost to the local economy under the government’s new Euro 2,250 million stimulus package. This project will start next year. This cash injection will see a new primary care health centre developed in North Drogheda and another in Laytown/Bettystown. Labour’s work in government means that we can invest money from the National Pension Reserve Fund, the European Investment Bank and other sources to create 13,000 new jobs.
DEFENDING LOW PAID WORKERS Labour in government has fought hard to protect the rights of low paid workers and defend the interests of their families. Labour reversed the cut in the minimum wage, despite the insistence of the opposition that it could not be done. Over 330,000 low paid workers were taken out of the Universal Social Charge net, when others said it would not be done. No increases were made to income tax and cuts were made to VAT in key sectors, like the agri-food and tourism areas to boost employment.
Labour also put in place new Joint Labour Court Agreements JLCs to replace those struck down in the High Court last year. JLCs are vital to protecting the interests of low paid workers and I was instrumental in designing these protections for 200,000 workers who work in retail, security and hospitality.
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STRAIGHT TALK QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON THE ECONOMY WHAT IS IRELAND’S TRUE ECONOMIC POSITION? In 2011 Ireland spent €70.5 billion, but only took in €51.5 billion leaving a gap or a budget deficit of €19 billion. The 2012 budget sought to close that gap by €3.5 billion through a mixture of reforms, some cuts and new charges. The 2013 and 2014 budgets will have to meet similar targets if we are to fund our services and wrest control back of our own economic affairs.
BUT SURELY IF WE STOPPED PAYING THE BANKS AND THE BONDHOLDERS WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO DO THIS? Unfortunately the majority of our deficit is not bank related although the banking crisis and subsequent bank guarantee played a huge part in crashing our economy. The deal on our bank debt won by government in recent weeks will greatly help our country’s situation.
CAN’T WE JUST TELL THE TROIKA TO GO HOME? Because Ireland’s economy failed so badly and our annual deficits spiralled out of control we were no longer able to borrow money the way solvent countries do. The Troika (EU, IMF and the European Central Bank) has bailed out Ireland under certain conditions – the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ signed by the previous Fianna Fail government, which we have since been steadily renegotiating. Without this funding we can’t pay for our schools, hospitals and social welfare payments. Getting our finances under control will allow us to return to the markets by the end of 2013 and make big economic decisions for ourselves. We are very much on target to do that and have already begun to raise some money on the international markets with success.
OK, BUT WHY DID THE LAST GOVERNMENT BAIL OUT ANGLO IRISH AND THE BANKS IN THE FIRST PLACE? That’s a question best answered by Fianna Fáil. They introduced the bank guarantee in 2008. Sinn Fein also voted for massive taxpayer support for busted banks. Only Labour voted against the bank guarantee as we foresaw that it would turn out to be a blank cheque for the banks.
REAL PROGRESS MADE We have made a lot of progress and we are just over one year into a five year mandate. For example:
The Troika said Ireland had to cut the national minimum wage. Labour reversed the cut. The Troika imposed punitive interest rates and unrealistic pay-back duration on the money borrowed under the bailout programme. Labour’s actions in renegotiating the deal saved billions in interest repayments and extended the pay-back period.
The Troika said: Bank debt cannot be separated from sovereign debt.
LABOUR INVESTS IN THE HEALTH SERVICE Quality public healthcare is a priority for me. We are set to abolish the HSE and introduce universal health insurance for all. We have worked to deliver: ■
A new 35-bed mental health facility to be built in Drogheda in 2013
New acute beds for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital – our regional hospital
The introduction of over 50,000 new GP cards later this year in advance of the roll out of free GP care for all citizens by 2015
We are working hard to secure the future of the Cottage Hospital and we are confident of achieving results for those who care about our public health system.
GERALD NASH IN THE DÁIL I am a strong and effective voice for progressive politics in the Dáil and in the Labour Party. I am proud of my record of achievement in securing a new JLC system for low-paid workers, securing a pardon for World War II soldiers who were badly treated by the State and in securing the Community Employment scheme system to name but three of a number of key achievements. I was recently appointed by the Tánaiste to the powerful Public Accounts Committee and I expect to be involved in the long awaited Banking Inquiry. My work on the Foreign Affairs Committee and as Chair of the Oireachtas Friends of Palestine Group is also widely recognised.
JOBS & TRAINING We do not underestimate the challenge of getting all our people back to work. Our Jobs Action Plan aims to create 100,000 new net jobs. Decisions by Drogheda Concentrates and PayPal to create more jobs here is a huge vote of confidence in Louth and Meath and a sure sign of investor backing for the Irish economy. High levels of unemployment are never acceptable to me and I am working with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, local business and relevant State agencies to create sustainable jobs and high potential training opportunities in our community.
Labour insisted that bank debt must be separated from sovereign debt.
We now have an agreement that bank bailouts should be funded directly from European funds and that it should not count as part of the State’s national debt. We have got specific agreement that this may be applied retrospectively to Ireland. Indeed Ireland was the only country specifically named in the official communique after the meeting of EU leaders. This could mean tens of billions being taken off our national debt, making a huge difference to our long term interests as a country. All of these things matter and represent real achievements others said we could not deliver in our work to restore stability and growth to our country.
The first act of this government was to reduce the salaries of all TDs, Senators and government Ministers including the Tanaiste and the Taoiseach. Next year we will have a referendum to abolish the Seanad. The number of TDs elected to the next Dáil will be reduced. Dail sittings have increased by over 50%. The new Anti-Corruption Bill is the toughest Bill of its kind ever to be introduced in Europe. Labour stands by its proud record of transparency in public life, pledging to restore and enhance Freedom of Information, bring in a Lobbyist’s Register and encourage Whistleblowers to stand up and be counted.
Dáil Office: Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 Phone: 01 618 3576 Constituency Office: Connolly Hall, Palace Street, Drogheda Phone: 041 981 0811
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Gerald Nash TD
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