7 June 2001 Edition

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Carey's flawed bag

Pat Carey, TD and leader of the Fianna Fáil Group on Dublin City Council, has financed the handout of 2,000 paper shopping bags, upon which his name and telephone number are boldly emblazoned above the environment protection logo calling for recycling and reuse. He is quoted as saying ``I want to show that Pat Carey cares about the environment.''

``This coming from a representative who has promoted the Fianna Fáil Minister for the Environment's policy of imposing incinerators across the 26 Counties, to the extent of robbing local authorities of their power to determine waste policy in their areas, is the ultimate in hypocrisy,'' says Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O'Toole.

``Pat Carey is the leader of the group that intends to impose costly incinerators upon Dubliners and is a proponent of the waste charges to be forced on Dublin householders to finance these incinerators that nobody wants. Once we have an incinerator, then to keep it fed there will be neither resources nor opportunity to recycle or reuse our waste. So much for Pat Carey's logo on his paper bags.''

And just to prove that when it comes to incineration and big private interests, party politics doesn't stand in the way, Pat Carey explains that he drew this idea of paper bags advertising him and his commitment to recycling from John Perry, Sligo T.D. for Fine Gael. Fine Gael, no more than Fianna Fail, has opposed incinerators.

Housing waiting list jumps 75%

Despite unprecedented levels of government revenue, the housing situation in the 26 Counties has deteriorated. The list of those waiting for housing, it was announced last week, has jumped from 39,000 in 1999 to 47,000 this year, an increase of 75% in housing waiting lists.

Worse is the fact that new house completions by local authorities have actually fallen. In 1999, 3,713 local authority houses were completed. Last year, there were only 3,207 new homes to set against those who are waiting years.

``It is,'' says Dublin City councillor Nicky Kehoe, ``nothing less than disgraceful. In our recent submission to Dublin Corporation we held up, on the authority of the Good Friday Agreement, to which the Dublin government is a party, the commitment to work towards equality and the right of all people to adequate housing. At present we have a two-tier society of those with housing and those without, those who can afford new houses and those who, through no fault of their own, cannot.

``In our submission we pointed out that Dublin City Corporation had no plans to reduce its housing waiting list over the next three years of the National Development Plan. Last month, Dublin councillors happily agreed to endorse these plans.

``It has now been announced that the number of people on rent allowance schemes has jumped by 16% to 42,591 cases across the 26 Counties. This means yet again more landlords drawing exorbitant handouts from the state for providing often uninspected and unsuitable accommodation to people who cannot afford to meet the rising costs of housing under the contrived scarcity created by Bobby Molloy's housing policies.

``Through housing shortage and the cosy understanding between the coalition government and developers, builders and multi-property landlords, we are facing the increasing impoverishment of people. Instead of isuing compulsory purchase orders on property and development land, the government is wasting millions on large handouts to landlords through subsidising rents.''

Dublin Sinn Féin councillors are justifiably angry that the Corporation took none of their recommendations on relieving the housing shortage into account, in their finalisation of the City Housing strategy for the next four years.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1