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Labour Party leader Alan Kelly hits out at ‘arrogance’ of other political parties



Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has hit out at the “arrogance” of other opposition parties and said there is a “third option” between them and Government at the next election.

In his leader’s address at the Labour Party national conference, Mr Kelly said that too many parties “are peddling the myth that we can have both tax cuts and public spending.”

He said this was a “con job” and “total lies”.

“They are lying to the Irish people, pure and simple. None of us like paying taxes, but we can’t have decent services without them.

“And you can’t call yourself a left-wing party if you’re against a property tax.”

Speaking about the next election, Mr Kelly said that if the Labour Party is to enter government it will only do so under two conditions.

“Firstly, will our core policies be implemented.

“And secondly, can we trust the moral compass of those who aspire to govern with us. Because the tone of political debate really matters now.”

Ascension

Mr Kelly said that some parties in the current Government “think they have a right to always govern” while others in opposition “go around arrogantly acting like their ascension to high office next time is just inevitable.”

“Neither are true.”

He said the people of Ireland will decide and “there is always a third option as we proved in the recent by-election win.”

Mr Kelly said the Labour Party wanted to tax wealth and not work and wanted to close tax loopholes.

On Covid19, he said the Government needs to commit to offering booster shots to everyone early in the new year.

“And we must show solidarity with the rest of the world and share our spare vaccines.”

On a personal level he said the pandemic “made me reconsider everything.”

“How much time I spend with my wife Regina and my kids Aoibhe and Senan, and my elderly parents’ Nan and Tom.”

On housing, Mr Kelly described the cost of renting as “obscene.”

“The latest government plan is more of the same tired efforts to pay off private developers. They’re setting up a Housing Commission, but its terms of reference must be radical. We’re still not building enough homes. A whole new class of absentee institutional landlords is being created instead.

He said he wanted to know why the Government had not implemented a rent freeze.

“I was able to freeze rents for 2 years in 2015 but since then the conservative parties in power have allowed record increases.

There is no constitutional issue here – I should know – so government just do it.”

On climate change, he said that people in poorly insulated homes are paying the price.

He called for a carbon credit for families.

On working conditions, Mr Kelly called on the Government to mandate the Low Pay Commission to deliver a Living wage.

Finally Mr Kelly said that the Labour Party is calling for a “new deal” for Ireland and for workers, for housing, for care and for climate.

The party passed a number of motions proposed by delegates, TDs and Senators on Saturday.

These included regulating gambling, starting an internal objective review into the law on add work, as well as a motion to “develop a coherent and constructive left.”

In that motion the party agreed that it must be open to the possibility of developing a common platform with others who “share our broad egalitarian perspective.”



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