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National Issues

Government must ensure the availability of anti-HIV drug in Ireland as infection rate soars

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Róisín Shortall TD, the co-leader of the Social Democrats has called on the government to prioritise the introduction of anti-HIV drugs as new figures show the rates of HIV infection continue to rise at alarming levels. Deputy Shortall said: “According to figures from the HSE, there were 508 new cases of HIV in Ireland last year,  this is an increase of 5% on 2015. Further delays in the signing off Read More

Dáil vote shows that Fianna Fáil aren’t serious about fixing pension inequality

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Fianna Fáil has been accused of rank hypocrisy on the issue of pension inequality by Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD over their refusal to back a vote that would have curtailed bumper pensions for Ministers and senior civil servants in order to restore pensions to people who lost out in changes introduced in 2012. The changes to state pensions have resulted in an estimated 36,000 people, mainly women, receiving Read More

Limits on tax relief for high-end pensions would fund reversal of unfair cuts in State pensions for women

The Government has been accused of double standards by Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD over its refusal to reverse the unfair 2012 cuts affecting state pensions for women. Speaking ahead of a Dáil debate tonight, Deputy Shortall said: “The changes to state pension introduced in 2012 have resulted in an estimated 36,000 people, mainly women, receiving reduced rate pensions. Yet the Government chooses to ignore the plight of these Read More

Expert group on separating private practice from public hospital system needs clear mandate and independence

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Any group set up to examine the impact of separating private practice from the public hospital system must be fully independent and free from conflicts of interest, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD cautioned today. Deputy Shortall was speaking as the Cabinet meets in Cork to discuss the Sláintecare blueprint for a reformed public health service. The ten-year plan was produced by a special all-party Oireachtas committee chaired by Deputy Read More

Minister cries crocodile tears while women lose out on pensions payments

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The Social Democrats have accused the Finance Minister of crying crocodile tears while failing to address punitive rules that mean tens of thousands of women are losing out on pensions payments. The party’s joint leader Róisín Shortall TD said today: “The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has admitted it is ‘bonkers and unbelievable’ that women are losing out on pensions payments due to a 2012 change in the State pension Read More

Little or no tax benefit in Budget 2018 for 1.5m income earners on less than €35,000

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There is little or no tax benefit from Budget 2018 for 1.5 million income earners on less than €35,000, the joint leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall TD said today. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Shortall said: “Yesterday’s budget represented a scatter gun approach to the country’s finances. It lacked any kind of vision or strategy. It was a missed opportunity to set the country on a fair and Read More

Budget 2018 fails to fully commit to fund Sláintecare radical healthcare reform plan

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Budget 2018 falls very far short of what is needed to implement the Sláintecare health reform plan, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today. Speaking immediately after the Budget was announced, Deputy Shortall said: “For the first time in history, the government had in front of it a fully costed plan for health reform put forward earlier this year with agreement of all political parties. What was needed today Read More

Peaceful dialogue is only way forward in Catalonia

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Commenting on recent events in Catalonia, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today condemned police violence and urged all sides to reach a political solution to the constitutional crisis. Deputy Shortall said: “The weekend’s scenes of police violence and the forced closure of polling stations in Catalonia were shocking to witness. It is vital that the dispute over sovereignty is resolved and that people’s right to peaceful protest is accepted Read More

Stark warning from Commission on Future of Policing must be heeded

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The Minister for Justice must heed the stark warning from the Commission on the Future of Policing regarding the extent of the problems in the Garda which are clearly more significant that the government seems to realise, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today. Deputy Shortall was commenting on the Commission’s warning in a letter to the Minister that it would be a “serious mistake” to appoint a new Read More

Taoiseach must reconsider priorities and commit to a referendum to help resolve housing crisis

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The housing crisis will not be solved until the obstacle presented by the constitutional provision on private property is amended, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today. Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Deputy Shortall called on the Taoiseach to commit to holding a referendum on Article 43 of the constitution as a matter of urgency. She said a referendum on Article 43 was a glaringly obvious omission Read More