Solidarity-People Before Profit to back no-confidence motion in Housing Minister

Solidarity-People Before Profit is to back Sinn Féin’s motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Mick Barry, TD for Cork North Central, blamed the Fine Gael minister for the housing crisis and accused him of a “game of finger-pointing”.

His comments come after Mr Murphy threatened a number of local authorities over what he described as their failure to deal with the massive housing crisis.

Mr Murphy, who has been Minister for Housing for 15 months, has come under increased pressure during the summer as homeless figures threatened to hit 10,000.

Speaking at the Solidarity-People Before Profit Think In today, Mr Barry said he has “no confidence” in the Government.

“If you replace one Fine Gael minister with another Fine Gael minister, it is not going to solve the problem,” he said.

“We need a government that doesn’t look to the market to solve a housing crisis but instead is prepared to implement socialist policies to tackle the housing crisis.

“There has been a game of finger-pointing played by the Housing Minister towards the councils. We think that both the Government and many of the councils are to blame for the crisis.

“But the lion’s share of the responsibility lies with the corner of the Government.”

As part of their annual Think-In, TDs from Solidarity-People Before Profit discussed housing, abortion legislation and separation of Church and State.

Richard Boyd Barrett, TD for Dun Laoghaire, said that the party is planning a “mass demonstration” outside Leinster House next month in protest over the housing crisis.

He said: “We think this government, Fine Gael has failed in the most elementary obligations and tasks of a government which are to put a secure and affordable roof over heads of the citizens, to provide equal and fair access to decent public services and provide decent jobs and incomes to working people of this country.

“This government is failing hundreds of thousands of citizens to provide them with the most basic and necessary things.

“The most dire example of the failure of the Government is the worsening and escalating housing emergency and the current crisis is not an accident.

“It results directly from Fine Gael policy of favouring the interests of vulture funds and property speculators over the needs of hundreds of thousands of our citizens to have secure and affordable roofs over their heads.”

Brid Smith, TD for Dublin South Central, raised the issue of the leaking of the Scally Report on the cervical cancer scandal.

She said the party is “outraged” that the women and families did not see the report first.

“This is in keeping with every report that Fine Gael has published, in this particular case it is harsh and cruel on the women and should be condemned,” she added.

Ruth Coppinger, Solidarity TD for Dublin West, addressed the issues surrounding Church and State.

She said that the “resounding victory” of the repeal the eighth campaign and the “mass disinterest” in the visit by Pope Francis last month was a sign that the people of Ireland want a separation of church and state.

She added: “The abortion legislation is going to be a huge feature when the Dail returns, it’s critical that it is moved on now that the vexatious challenge has been overturned and our concern will be that it is free and accessible with no delays.”

- Press Association

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