I briefed the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party today on progress in the Dublin South West by-election. I was happy to tell them that momentum is building in the campaign, that we have growing numbers arriving each night to canvass and that the reception at the doors is warm and supportive.
I highlighted that Dublin South West is so very full of potential and that I am working hard on solutions to address the key issues concerning constituents. In doing so I set out my ambitions for the constituency:
• Fairness in austerity and the fear of vulnerable people about water charges;
• Mental Health;
I told the parliamentary party of the amazing work being done by community and family resource centres in the area of counselling and mental health but that proper, structured and available crisis interventions were required for the most vulnerable.
In relation to Employment, I spoke about how the government needs to act quickly and reintroduce an apprenticeship culture and structure that gives long-term unemployed young people real hope, real jobs and a real future at home in their own communities.I went on to talk about how we need to look at expanding the level of income at which the full rate of the USC is applied in order to benefit lower income families and make it worth their while working. I spoke of how the tourism potential in Dublin South West is barely tapped into and could create hundreds of jobs locally. And furthermore, how the government need to examine the American Small Business Administration Model to provide much-needed finance for small businesses.
I ended on the point that we simply need to provide more houses in the constituency and that a number of initiatives could be taken including; providing incentives to people in homes too big for them to trade down and enable family home-seekers trade up; front load social housing development to provide finance for small builders to complete developments; to support those who rent out their apartments because they needed a family home and are now tenants themselves but are being penalised by the tax code and need a break.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to address the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party today in Roscommon and speak passionately on these topics. I want to represent you and find solutions to the issues that are concerning you, the people of Dublin South West.