Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…
Mick Wallace Does #US Imperialism know no shame...?The #USEnvoyYemen is thanking #Saudi for supporting the people of #Yemen ...?… https://t.co/mlEHHPqYFL
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace An Atalanta win over Real Madrid would be seriously good for football... https://t.co/hUfOdNomaO

Finance

mwOn January 25th, Clare Daly TD brought the Promissory Notes Motion before the Dáil to address the €1.25 billion payment by the Government to unsecured Anglo Irish Bank bondholders. In his speech, Mick points out that Government parties have now completely forgotten the arguments they made before gaining power and asks, 'how, in God’s name, can anyone expect politicians in this country to have credibility'? Since entering Government Fine Gael and Labour have changed their stances on a number of key issues including the EU-IMF deal, household taxes, and retention of frontline health services nationwide. Watch the coverage here.

The Government thinks it is a good idea to pay €1.25 billion to unsecured bondholders. It is of the view that it is not a good idea to upset the ECB or the financial markets. However, it appears to be okay to upset people who depend on one-parent family payments, carer’s allowance, the fuel allowance and the rent allowance and parents whose children are losing their guidance counsellors. It also seems to be fine to cut the funding for DEIS schools and community employment schemes. Those in government made one argument before the general election and a different one afterwards and they were unable to back up what they had said on both occasions. They gave the impression prior to last year’s general election that it would be a good idea not to give money to unsecured bondholders and the people believed them. On the household charge, in January last year Fine Gael stated: But the Government’s proposal to introduce a steadily–rising, annual, recurring residential property tax on people’s homes is unfair for two reasons ... It will be difficult to pay for asset–rich but income poor households, particularly the elderly and the unemployed. It will be deeply unfair for a young generation that paid exorbitant amounts of stamp duty and VAT on the purchases on over–valued houses, many of whom now find themselves in negative equity. There was one story before the election and a different one afterwards. What does power do to people? At Question Time last week I referred to the continued use of Shannon Airport by American military aeroplanes on their way to Afghanistan. In October 2007 the Tánaiste, Deputy Eamon Gilmore, stated: The war is wrong and Ireland was wrong to support it through the use of Shannon Airport. The war was wrong on grounds of international law, wrong on grounds of morality and wrong because it degenerated into an assault against the most basic principles of our common humanity. When I challenged him last week on the fact that the Government had done nothing in respect of the US military continuing to use Shannon Airport, he stated, “There are no plans to change the arrangements for the overflight and landing of US military aircraft, which have been continuously in place under successive Governments for over 50 years.” He thinks it is okay for military aeroplanes to land at Shannon Airport and then proceed to Afghanistan in order to drop bombs on people asleep in their beds in the middle of the night. The difference is standards is incredible. Making one argument when in opposition and arguing the complete opposite when in power is so dishonest. How, in God’s name, can anyone expect politicians in this country to have credibility? The people threw the previous Government out on its ear. During the election campaign those opposite stated they would take a stand on various matters, but when they entered office, they did the exact opposite. That is completely unfair to the people who voted for them.

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On Monday December 5th and Tuesday December 6th, the Goverment announced Budget 2012 in the Dáil. As expected cuts were made in many Departments with the most vulnerable being hit the hardest again. On Tuesday evening the Technical Group got their first opportunity to speak on the details of the document and Mick was selected to speak first for the group. In his address Mick pleads with the Government act in the best interest of the people; the people who are struggling the most in the current economic climate. You can watch the full speech here. Mick Wallace I am not sure what people expected from the budget of today and yesterday, but there was a mixture of hope and fear. There is much anger out there and people are not very happy about how things are. It is very difficult for many people, and those people have many reasons to be angry. The recession is getting deeper for many and unemployment is at a very high level, especially for young people. Many parents are demoralised because it is impossible for children to get jobs. People are also still angry about the excesses of bankers and the manner in which the banking crisis became a crisis for everybody, including those people who may not be let in the front door of a bank. What makes people most angry is that the level of inequality in our society has not been challenged. This is hard to take for many people. Poverty is relative and when making comparisons, we would look at what others have against what we have or our kids have. People think there cannot be poor in a country where most people have mobile phones and televisions. However, it is not like that. I would rather be poor in La Paz in Bolivia than poor in Dublin. Europe plays a big part in all our dealings. Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy seem to be calling the shots more and more. They are now talking about a compromise not a solution. Some people want the ECB to be a lender of last resort while others want European sovereign bonds, neither of which the Germans want. What the Germans want appears to be lifelong austerity for us. They would like us all to be Germans now. That would involve a very different life for us. We will probably never get our economy back on an even footing but then we would not have to make anything because we could buy everything from the Germans anyway because they make many things. They are the second largest exporters in the world after China. There has been a huge transfer of power. This country joined the EU with the belief that it was joining a family of nations and that we would be treated well in the group. We expected fairness. The principle was that the strong would help the weaker. The truth is that for many years money came into this country that provided a huge boost. Admittedly, we had to give away our most valuable asset in the fishing industry. It was one of the main things we gave up. A great deal of money came in that helped to drive this country into the 21st century but more and more the benefits have disappeared. Not only are we now facing a situation where the financial markets seem to be making the decisions, but we also have a serious democratic deficit. Decisions are being made for us and we have no say in the matter. Italy and Greece are governed by people who were not elected. Spain is being governed by a party that got fewer votes than the number of abstentions and spoiled votes, so great is the anger in Spain. We no longer expect a democratic right from the great rulers of Europe. If anyone thinks that the financial markets will act in the interests of the common good then he or she should think again because that is not the way they work. They are very good at organising the movement of goods and the transfer and exchange of goods across Europe and the world but they are not quite as good at training workers, creating infrastructure, protecting the environment, and regulating themselves. They would not be good at looking after the most vulnerable in society. We should not depend on them so much. I am not fond of what Europe is offering and I am less fond of what it seems to be about to offer in the near future. Finance should be a servant to society not the master of it. I refer to an article by Larry Elliott of The Guardian to whom I have referred a few times as I find him particularly good. He says: The European Union has always had problems with democracy, a messy process that can interfere with the grand designs of people at the top who know best. When Ireland voted no to the Nice Treaty, it was told to come up with the right result in a second ballot. [Likewise, with the Lisbon treaty.] The European Central Bank wields immense power, but nobody knows how the unelected members of its governing council vote because no minutes of meetings are published. That said, the latest phase of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has exposed the quite flagrant contempt for voters, the people who are going to bear the full weight of the austerity programmes being cooked up by the political elites. Here’s how things work. The real decisions in Europe are now taken by the Frankfurt Group, an unelected cabal made of up eight people: Lagarde; Merkel; Sarkozy; Mario Draghi, José Manuel Barroso…; Jean-Claude Juncker…; Herman van Rompuy…; and Olli Rehn... This group, which is accountable to no one, calls the shots in Europe…What matters to this group is what the financial markets think not what voters might want [or need]. I voted “No” to the Nice treaty and I voted “No” to the Lisbon treaty, even though I am very pro-European. I would never describe myself as a Nationalist; I describe myself as a European, even though I would also say I am Irish. One of the things that frightened me about the Nice and Lisbon treaties was the inroads they allowed for large corporations to seriously affect how we run our country. The driving philosophy is neoliberalism and at its core is to put the maximum power one can into the hands of the fewest people who control wealth. They like to control resources, production and services. They function best in so-called democratic countries where elections are held on a regular basis. Sadly, politicians are influenced by people in power and people with money. The elected politicians elect the legislature and it makes the decisions. A good example from the past 20 years is when Mr. Tony Blair got elected in 1997 in London. Murdoch’s newspapers came out on the morning of the election and called on people to vote Labour. The first measure Labour brought into parliament was one which allowed Murdoch a €50 million reduction in his tax bill that year in Britain. One must pay for favours. That is nothing new to any of us. Unfortunately, the people who most need our help do not have much influence with the powers that make decisions. If one comes from Darndale, one would probably find it difficult to get a meeting with a Deputy, let alone have a decision made in one’s favour. The people of Darndale probably need our help more than most. I am concerned about where we are going. Part of the EU agenda with its neoliberal slant is for our postal service to be opened to competition that can be cherry-picked by private organisations and for that reason we are closing post offices around the country. We are closing Army barracks and forcing people to drive further to work. We are starting to close Garda stations. Small pubs in rural areas are closing. Now we are going to close nursing homes. One could ask what it will be like to live in this country in ten years’ time if we keep going this way. I know there are no easy answers to how one runs a country. I do not like all the different ways the Government sought to find the required €3.8 billion. It must be difficult for old people to hear their fuel allowance is being cut. Parents who are trying to get their children to school are being told that back to school allowances are being cut. We have seen what is happening in health and education. There is huge undermining of the real values in society.  Mr. Albert Einstein, the philosopher and mathematician, said the human being is both solitary and social. As a solitary being he looks after his best interests, himself and his nearest of kin, and tries to develop his innate abilities and survive the best way he can. As a social being he develops a caring approach to other people. He develops an interest in his neighbour and cares about how his neighbour is. If his neighbour feels pain he feels pain too. A human being realises his fulfilment only when he engages in society and cares about his fellow man. This budget does not tackle the inequalities that are rampant in our society. It does not show care. We must change. The people expect much of Members of the Oireachtas. They do not want the banks to make decisions for them. They would not like the Europeans to make their decisions for them either. They would like us to run this country, to represent them, to behave in an ethical manner and to give a damn.

Good heartiness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the ideal treatment edition for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to think about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

wallOn Wednesday, November 23rd Fianna Fail's motion on Commercial Rates was before the Dáil. Mick got a chance to speak on the motion having a particular interest in the area. Mick attended a rates meeting in Enniscorthy some months ago organised by businesses in the town; the setting up of the IEAR (Irish Employers For Affordable Rates) stemmed from this first meeting. In his speech he notes the length of time it has taken the revaluation office to do its job having been set up in 2005 and still hasn't managed to operate outside Dublin. Watch the speech here.

There is no doubt rates have become one of the biggest burdens on small and medium-sized businesses. God knows the domestic economy has enough problems without the unresolved problem of rates hanging over the heads of businesses. I will outline a strong example in this regard. I have an 880 sq. ft. unit in the Italian quarter which I rented at €50 per sq. ft. in 2005 resulting in an annual rent of €40,000. In 2011, the rent is €25 per sq. ft., which means the annual rent will be €20,000. Local authority rates in 2005 were €6,073 and they had increased to €6,847 by 2009. Rates went up by 13% in that period but rent has fallen by half. The rates to rent ratio is 30%, which is absolute madness. If one tries to rent a unit for €20,000 annually and the rates cost 30% on top of that, it is almost impossible to rent it. Revaluation is ongoing but it started in 2005 and, seemingly, the officials have still not got out of Dublin. They still have not revalued Dublin city centre. The revaluation system is too slow. More staff are required and there must be a link to market rent, which means a link to reality because that is non-existent currently. If it is not linked to market rent, a percentage of independently audited turnover should be set to achieve a realistic figure for rent. The 2009 Commission on Taxation report recommended setting up a transparent nationwide valuation system. It also recommended a cost effective route of appeal and regular valuations. Unless a proper system is put in place with the necessary staff, businesses will continue to go out of existence. That will mean less revenue for the Government, job losses and loss of morale with the economy driven further into the bowels of the earth.

Good health is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to think about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may switch on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

mwMick Wallace TD has called for all donations to politicians and political parties over €100 to be declared. In his speech in the Dáil on Friday November 18th he also suggested that donations should not exceed €1000. The discussion occured during the second stage debate of the twenty ninth amendment to the constitution brought before the Dáil by Fianna Fail. Mick's speech takes examples of the corruption money causes and the problems associated with it in the outcome of elections and distribution of power. You can watch the address here.

There is probably no one here who will argue in favour of corporate donations, and rightly so. We have learned the damage that can be done. I am actually wary of any donations. I know it is difficult to organise an election campaign and it could probably prevent a person from standing for election if he or she could not get a dig-out somewhere to start up. However, political donations should be confined to sums of less than €1,000, and anything over €100 should be declared. If somebody wants to give a politician or someone standing for election €100, we should know who he is. Sometimes a political donation can be genuine, and that is fine; if it is genuine, one should have no problem putting one’s name to it. However, much of the time, as we know from our history, people who give money to politicians expect something in return. The maddest example of this in today’s world is America, where it can cost €700 million to run for election - it certainly costs that much to get elected. It is hardly surprising that the individual elected shows great favour to the arms industry, for example, which is one of the biggest providers of donations. The amount of money the arms industry puts into election campaigns, and how it picks a side, is frightening. The industry actually supports both sides, but in the last US presidential election it gave more money to Barack Obama than to the Republican candidate, which is interesting. We probably should not be surprised that troop numbers in Afghanistan have increased since then, as has the number of drone attacks in Pakistan. Some things just do not change. Palestine’s attempt to gain UN recognition and membership was scuppered by America principally because of its alliance with Israel. That is still a bit frightening. We would have expected a lot more from Obama, but the fact that he had to accept so many millions of dollars to win his election campaign has had a major impact on how he behaves once in office. Money creates major problems in how our society is organised. Money buys privilege in every way. It privileges people in terms of health, education and job opportunities. If one can afford to send one’s kids to a private school, one can be sure the number of pupils in the class will not be as large as in the State school down the road. It is certain that when writing one’s CV in later life, it does not do any harm to mention that one went to a private school. Sometimes it does one no harm in the courts if one is wearing the right school tie. It goes to the core of our society when people can buy into the political process by giving donations. We imagine that among the principal aims of any Government should be to fight the inequalities that exist in our society and to work towards re-balancing that deficiency. It is difficult to achieve these aims when those with money can buy their way into the favour of a political party and it separates the ordinary people from the Legislature because money makes such a difference. Let us consider a simple example. If a person comes from Darndale it is not especially easy to get into a Minister’s office no more than it is likely that the same person would be invited to a golf classic, where there might be the opportunity to rub shoulders with people of influence in the political arena. Inequality is deep-rooted and the opportunity to give donations to political parties drives this on and enhances it. We should seriously consider a complete ban on donations or, at a minimum, a limit of €1,000 should be the maximum that anyone is allowed to give. Anyone who gives more than €100 should put their name to it.

Good health is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to keep in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

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