Just watched the leader’s debate on RTE tonight. It wasn’t surprising in any way, as no one got landed with a “killer blow”.
They talked about housing mainly and how they planned to build up to 100,000 new homes as social/ affordable homes for our young people who are trapped in their parents home as they cannot afford the crazy prices of houses particularly in Dublin. All the participants indicated that they would greatly increase the number of houses being built. Surprisingly no-one asked why this hadn’t being done already as both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael where effectively in government together for the last four years.
So one has to take all the promises being made with a pinch of salt. Both Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn fein) and Richard Boyd Barret ( People before Profit) put in good performances with Richard Boy Barret making the comment that selling up to €40 billion in Nama properties to developers and vulture funds wasn’t the way to solve a housing crisis.
Mary Lou McDonald mentioned that Fianna Fail crashed the economy whilst in office and Fine Gael builds the most expensive Children hospital ( at estimated €2.4 billion it certainly is) in the world. The National Broadband plan doesn’t get a mention at a staggering €3 billion- 3 times the price that Eir/Eircom said they would do it for .
The Greens want to cut the suckler herd by 50% so to cut emissions of methane though they would compensate farmers for the lost production. The other participants disagreed with the Greens on this. More Gardaí were promised to tackle crime, organisation of special units and so on.
Leo Varadkar stressed that you need a strong economy to fund all these commitments and that Fine Gael was the party to deliver this “strong economy” .
Michael Martin was busy attacking Sinn fein on the fact they had voted for the retirement age to be 66 in the North.
General view on the debate was that they were no outright winners or losers in it. Though Sinn fein’s Mary Lou McDonald came out the best.
More would want to be asked about Corporation tax and the fact the banks don’t pay any despite being bailed out by the taxpayer. Other companies like companies like Google don’t pay any tax while making immense profits, though I forget the company that was mentioned in the debate. More has to be done on fair taxation for all.
See the leader’s debate here