Following the decision taken by the Green Party to enter coalition Government talks with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in recent days, local political representative, Cllr. Louise Heavin, spoke with the Athlone Advertiser this week, affording her views on the planned inter-party negotiations.
“We are in a very difficult time for the country. The Green Party originally proposed forming a Government of national unity, with a cross party purpose of addressing the current crisis we face.
“Unfortunately there has been no will for this. I am glad to see the parliamentary party are making every effort to put an administration in place, but the upcoming negotiations will be difficult I am sure, with the responses received from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil pertaining to our seventeen questions needed requiring more clarity.,” Cllr. Heavin stated.
Cllr. Heavin stressed that any programme proposed for Government formation would require the support of her political party colleagues.
“This vote will need a two thirds majority to pass so it is important that the party secures firm commitments in key policy areas. Many members of the party have been critical of the previous Government’s performance in key areas, especially climate action, protection of the environment, housing and transport spending.
“Both parties need to start facing up to the efforts we need to make to meet the Paris Agreement Ireland signed in 2015. This will require a minimum of seven percent emissions reduction annually and it will take changes in all industries and parts of our society. We need to ensure that changes made will be done in a socially just way.
“The Green Party were critical of the manner in which carbon tax was increased in the last budget as it disadvantaged the poorest in our society. The transition to a low carbon economy needs to bring everyone with it. I also firmly believe that we need to rapidly expand public housing provision across the country, providing public housing, cost rental and social housing, on public land.
“I would like to see commitments like this to ensure we are addressing the crisis in housing. The Green Party have a very good parliamentary party who will be working to find common ground on these and many other issues.
“It’s important that the next Government focus on a recovery that will lead us to a fairer and more sustainable society. With this in mind, I know our parliamentary party will strive to put together the best possible programme for Government. After that it is a question on if the other parties can come on board with the changes we would like to see,” Cllr. Heavin concluded.