19 February 2009 Edition
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An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please
Southern parties partitionist
THE British Labour Party has announced that next week it will formally set itself up as a political party operating in the North. The Tory party under David Cameron is hard at work re-cementing the old alliance with the Ulster Unionist Party. The British political establishment is going to be contesting elections in the North.
Yet Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Southern Labour party remain wedded to the outdated notion of partitionism. They refuse to organise on a 32 County basis. They even refused to allow elected representatives from the North to participate equally in commemorating the establishment of the First Dáil.
It is a worrying development that British political parties feel more comfortable and are better placed to enter Northern politics than Irish parties operating in the South, who remain committed to propping up the SDLP.
We need to challenge again the Southern parties to become truly national political formations. Sinn Féin has nothing to fear from them contesting elections. But there is something to lose if they do not while British parties establish themselves.
Welcome for Ferris proposal
I would like to welcome the proposal by Councillor Toireasa Ferris for mortgage lenders to lower the rates being paid by house owners in order to reflect the fall in property values. That would mean that instead of a family having for example to pay €1,600 per month on a home that they bought for €350,000 but which has fallen in value to €280,000, their mortgage would be reduced to around €1,100.
I am surprised that this proposal has not been given greater prominence or that Sinn Féin has not made it part of its own policy on this issue. No doubt there will be arguments against it but at the very least it ought to be debated. Also, in the light of the fact that the state and the taxpayer is now effectively underwriting the banks debts, it ought to be able to set policy on this and other aspects of banking policy rather than allow the same people not only to be saved at the public expense but to continue as they were.
MÁIRE De BARRA,
Fine Gael cuts
PEOPLE in Dublin Central depending on rent supplement and toying with voting Fine Gael to wipe the eye of Fianna Fáil might want to ask the smooth-talking Fine Gael Dáil candidate, Paschal Donohoe, tipped by some to be their next TD, about his colleague Olwyn Enright TD’s plan to slash their income.
Enright says €55 million could be saved if individual rent supplement payments were cut in line with the existing market rate.
It’s a pity Fine Gael isn’t as quick off the mark pushing for cuts in prices for consumers when market rates go down or increases for claimants when prices go up.
And if you really want to rub it up Fianna Fáil, don’t vote Fine Gael – vote Sinn Féin.
North Circular Road,