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4 CLONDALKIN GAZETTE 20 September 2012

POLITICS Labour, Fianna Fail in war of words HSE TALKS:


Keating praises progress in health

Labour deputy Robert Dowds’ attack on Fianna Fail’s opposition to the household tax was refuted by Fianna Fail Councillor Trevor Gilligan, who pointed out the Labour Party leader’s previous opposition to a property tax

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LOCAL Labour Party TD Robert Dowds has hit out at Fianna Fail for their new-found opposition to a property tax, labelling it as “brazen populism”. He said that the stance the par ty has taken comes in spite of the fact that it was the “disastrous Fianna Fail government” that signed off on the EU-IMF bailout “which committed the State to introducing a property tax in the first place”. Deputy Dowds added: “Micheal Martin and the rest of Fianna Fail have some neck to come out against the property tax, which they themselves signed the country up for as part of the bailout. “What makes it even worse is that this tax has the potential to completely overhaul how local government works


‘Micheal Martin and the rest of Fianna Fail have some neck to come out against the property tax, which they themselves signed the country up for as part of the bailout’


Robert Dowds, Lab


in Ireland, and to help put an end to the ‘cowboy culture’ of dodgy land rezoning which was so closely associated with Fianna Fail. “The new property tax will provide a stable

source of income for local authorities which they have been crying out for since Fianna Fail abolished rates in 1978. “Property taxes are also ver y fair taxes, a s t h e y a r e g e n e rally skewed so that the wealthiest people pay the most and the poorest pay the least,” said Deputy Dowds. In response to the deputy’s comments, local Fianna Fail councillor Trevor Gilligan said that as each week passes, “the language used by Labour backbenchers to criticise those with different views on how we should address the economic crisis becomes shriller and more hysterical”. Cllr Gilligan said: “With 40% of all households unable to pay the €100 household charge, record numbers of families in arrears or in negotiation with the banks,

and an entire section of society on middle incomes at the pin of their collars, we simply do not believe that introducing a property tax at this time is appropriate or sustainable. “If Deputy Dowds doesn’t want to listen to homeowners, he might take a moment to look back on the comments of his leader, Eamon Gilmore, who, as recently as October, 2010, promised the Evening Herald that the Labour Party would not introduce a property tax. “Similarly, in July, 2010, he said: ‘It would be perverse to ask people to pay a property tax on a property on which they are paying a mortgage, and the size of the mortgage, in many cases, is more than what the value of the property is worth’,” said Cllr Gilligan.

LOCAL Fine Gael TD Derek Keating has congratulated the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, for the progress made in negotiations with hospital consultants regarding the areas of rostering and work practices. Deputy Keating congratulated Minister Reilly following a breakthrough which was reached between hospital consultants and the Health Service Executive at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) earlier this week. He said: “While some matters remain outstanding, major progress has been made. By moving to a seven-day rostering system, the Minister estimates we can save up to €200 million a year, while better meeting the needs of patients.

Effective “The move to cut the pay of new entrants to the profession also means that we will reduce our pay bill as we move forward, which is crucial for the effective functioning of the health service. “This Government has been tasked with completely overhauling how we deliver our health services. Consultants are often referred to as the ‘lynchpins’ of reform; I believe the progress reached at the LRC will pave the way for a change in how our senior medics work. “It will be a crucial step as we seek to change the way we run our hospitals,” said Deputy Keating.