On Thursday this week, I got the opportunity to speak on the Water Services Bill 2017. I recalled the long and successful struggle of the Right2Water campaign in Dublin Bay North and throughout Ireland and paid tribute to the tens of thousands of citizens who peacefully and steadfastly opposed water charges and the privatisation of water supplies. I warned that Part 2 of the Bill on water allowances, thresholds amounts must not be permitted to become an excuse for the reintroduction of charges through the back door and called for amendments to this part of the Bill and to the provisions on Irish Water itself.
On Wednesday, I made a contribution to our regular Dáil debates on Brexit. I welcomed the promised Brexit ‘package’ in Budget 2018 to make Irish business and agriculture ‘Brexit ready.’ But I expressed concern at the torturous pace of the UK/EU negotiations and was critical of hardline UK brexiteers and EU federalists who seem to make necessary compromise very difficult.
Earlier on Wednesday I put a wide range of questions to the Minister for Finance at the Budgetary Oversight Committee including on income, corporate, capital and wealth taxation and on funding for a proposed new affordable housing scheme. I urged him to greatly expand the so-called fiscal space to provide essential services for our people in 2018.
I’ve continually asked for the restoration of pensions following the regressive changes in the 2012 budget which especially affects older women. So on Tuesday afternoon, I was delighted to meet the National Women’s Council and to be briefed again on the critical necessity of gender proofing Budget 2018.
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