People Before Profit have said they are offering a “radical alternative” to the “stranglehold” of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the General Election.
The party set out their stall for the election campaign on Friday, confirming they would not prop up any Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael minority and would be looking to form a left-leaning coalition for government if the chance arose.
The party, which is fielding 31 candidates, set out their red lines, stating they would not compromise on the need to build public housing, the need to deliver a National Health Service, the need for workers to get a decent wage or radical climate action because “society can’t afford those compromises”, said candidate Paul Murphy.
He also noted that left-leaning parties such as Labour, who have entered government and seen their policies watered down, is recent history in Irish politics and ultimately hurts the party and the people who voted for them.
“I defy anybody to show any positive example or instance of our parties of the left claiming to offer radical alternatives, going into coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, has not been a disaster for them politically and hugely demoralising for the people who vote,” Richard Boyd Barrett said.
“That doesn’t mean that we just sit back and wait for the next five years until the next General Election, look at the big victories that working people have won in the course of the last Dáil,” Mr Murphy added.
“The best way for us to deliver on the promises that we have, if the numbers aren’t there for a left government with a socialist programme, is precisely to be based on that method of people power movements from below, combined with socialist politics, we win victories now, and in doing so, prepare the way for a left government in the future.
“Fundamentally we need socialist change, public ownership of sectors of the economy, and people who are concerned about climate need to look at the record of parties and should vote for the socialist left.”
Data courtesy of The Irish Times
The party’s main policies involve rent controls, creating a living wage, guaranteed 33 hours childcare per week, funding for arts and sports, an end to the two-tier health system and radical climate action which includes free, accessible public transport and retro-fitting homes.
“This has been a landlord’s government in a landlord’s Dáil, you only have to look at HAP payments,” Mick Barry said.
“We need a completely different approach, public housing on public land.”
Brid Smith noted that the government have “blocked” progressive Bills in the Dáil including on sex education and climate action “in a very anti-democratic way”.
“If we want progress on these social issues, we really need to give a clear message to both those parties that they’ve had their day,” she said
“We need to move on to something progressive that represents working people, pensioners, the poor, women, young people and minorities.”