Since I was elected to the Dáil in 2011, I have tried to use the platform to argue for justice and equality, and against unjust and destructive austerity policies. I have campaigned against unfair and regressive taxes like water charges and property tax, and fought for a system in which those who have the most – like corporations and the very wealthy – pay their fair share. I have fought for decent jobs, decent conditions, and better workers' rights, for repeal of the Eighth Amendment, for more investment in public services, and equality in education. I have fought hard on local issues such as the rights of airport pensioners and homeowners affected by pyrite.
This election could mark a sea-change for Ireland. The people want change, and are tired of the cosy neoliberal consensus that has gutted our public services and made life more precarious, unstable and unhappy for too many people. They are tired of the same old election promises that are forgotten about once polling day is over. My only promise in this election campaign is to continue to do my best to work for a more equal and fair society.
My running mate, Barry Martin, is a young activist who is also dedicated to the fight for a better society, and to the fight against austerity and regressive taxes. If elected, he could be an important voice for young people in the Dáil – something that is sorely lacking, and desperately needed.
We need an Ireland that puts the interests of its people first – one that puts the health, welfare and dignity of its people first; one in which everyone is paid a living wage and can afford to put a roof over their heads.
The outgoing government’s record is one of heaping misery on the heads of those who can least afford it through massive cuts in public investment and a grab bag of regressive taxes dressed up as ‘charges’. It’s a government that refused to build social housing, and encouraged NAMA to sell off land and buildings at bargain basement prices to US vulture funds while thousands are homeless. It’s not good enough. The people in power have misused it – it’s time for the people to take the power back.