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Fat Cats to sell coal outside Green Party HQ

category dublin | history and heritage | news report author Sunday September 07, 2008 21:24author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot org Report this post to the editors

Demonstration will highlight Green Party sell-out of principles in upcoming Budget, which will cut public transport projects under the National Development Plan and create new taxes and tolls

Members of TaraWatch and other groups will sell pieces of coal , dressed as 'fat- cats', tomorrow outside the Green party offices on Suffolk Street at noon tomorrow. The coal will signify the Green's preference for creating new taxes, to penalise carbon use, instead of seeking cuts in spending on carbon producing infrastructure like tolled motorways, in the upcoming Budget, like their own policy documents call for.


Demonstration at Green Party offices,- 12:00 Noon, Monday 09 September 2008
The offices are located at 16/17 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2. It is the street to the left, at the bottom of Grafton Street.

With the Budget moved forward to the 14th of October, the Government will this week be deciding which cuts to make and where, to compensate for the 5-10 billion shortfall in tax-revenuse for 2008. It has been announced that the National Development Plan (NDP) will go under the knife; something previously unthinkable. Up until two weeks ago we witnessed Bertie Ahern writing int eh Sunday Independent, seeking support for Cowen, on the basis that the NDP would not be touched and that there is really nothing bad happening at all, in the grand shceme of things. Now suddenly we are seeing new of cuts to social programs, value for money evaluations of programs for the disabled, and elderly.

But even now that the NDP is going to be cracked, we read over the weekend that it is to be the under-funded public transport capital infrastructure projects, rather than the bloated roads programme, which is going to take the hit. Metro North, Western Rail link, etc, which are going to be post-poned, at a minimum.

Campaigners will highlight the Green Party 'sell-out' on entering Government, and failure to deliver on their promises contained in their Election Manifesto, Transport Policy and National Development Plan policy, as well as their support for toll roads:

Green Party Transport Policy states:

"The Green Party believes that the Transport 21 plan provides a useful long term financial commitment to spending on transport projects by future governments. We will work within the plan's spending parameters but will shift spending priorities within the budget, to promote public transport, cycling and walking.

See: Green Party Transport Policy: http://www.greenparty.ie/en/policies/transport

Specific promises were made in relation to Metro-light in Dublin, as well as other rail projects, including the Navan railway. Now many of these projects will be cut from the Budget in October, without any protest from the Green party.

See: Sunday Business Post: Departments ordered to cut spending by 3% http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=IRELA...1.asp

Green Party policy on the National Development Plan':

"There was a major spending imbalance in favour of roads over public transport. This helped transport emissions to rise some 150 per cent over the last 15 years. Last year capital expenditure on roads was six times that of spending on public transport. It is vital that the NDP is designed in a way which meets this climate change future. The Green Party in Government will insist on changes to the plan to help reduce emissions and cut the future cost of combating climate change in this country.

See: 'Future Proofing the National Development Plan': http://www.greenparty.ie/en/policies/national_developme..._plan

In their Election Manifesto the Green they note that:

"Under the Kyoto Protocol, the taxpayer will pay over 500m for carbon credits between 2008 and 2012, largely due the Government's failure to take measures to reduce carbon emissions.

See: Green Party Election Manifesto 2007: http://www.greenparty.ie/en/about/party_archives/electi...festo

Taxes and tolls

Demonstrators will highlight how the cost to the public of the Green Party's carbon taxes will be added to by the stealth taxes of tolls roads, which will cost the average commuter an extra 50 euros a week. This has been described as a stealth tax, and soon there will be tolls roads everywhere in the country. Meanwhile, the companies operating the toll roads, which are producing masses of carbon emissions, will not be penalised, and any cost to them will again be passed on to the tax-payer, while they take all of their massive profits aborad. Currently, Farrovial, the M3 toll company, is making its highest profits in Ireland, because the Irish pay stupid money for tolls, without complaining, or more precisely, because the politicians don't complain about it.

See: Irish IndependentM3 motorway partners see 12pc drop in share price : http://www.independent.ie/business/european/m3-motorway....html

Green Party support for Pork-barrel projects - bringing home the beacon to the local constituency

TaraWatch is preparing a pre-budgetary submission, to be made to the Department of Finance next week, which will call for a reduction of capital spending on the roads programme under the National Development Plan, and the cancellation of the M3 motorway project. The M3 is a perfect example of 'pork-barrel' spending, which refers to 'appropriation of government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents or campaign contributors'.

The Government is building five motorways in the small county of Meath, under the National Development Plan. This has been criticised by commentators, such as Frank McDonald, Environment Editor of the Irish Times, as 'unique in Europe'. There is simply no need for that many motorways. The key proponent of the M3 project, since its inception in 1999, has been Minister for Transport and Meath TD, Noel Dempsey. The M3 motorway will not benefit Meath residents as a whole, but primarily benefit local land-owners, construction companies and property developers, many of whom are Fianna Fail supporters.

UK Comparison:
"The UK figured out ten years ago that building motorways only produces more traffic, and pollution. They reduced the number of roads projects from 500 to just 37, between 1990 and 2000.
See: History of UK Transport Policy http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/transportissues/uktp_histor...shtml

Green Party roads building violates EU transport policy
See: "European transport policy for 2010 : time to decide" http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy_transport/en/lb_en.html

Related stories:

CAMPAIGNERS dressed as fat cats will today hand out one euro coins to builders as part of their continued protest against the construction of the M3 motorway.
Irish Independent - Tuesday August 26 2008

The publicity hungry campaigners planned to raise enough money from a TaraWatch benefit last night to finance the cash giveaway outside the new offices of the Department of Finance on Merrion Row, in Dublin. Last night, organisers said the stunt aimed to highlight their continued protest at the Government's "stubborn adherence" to the National Development Plan and the M3 motorway, despite the current economic downturn. However, in a diversion from the norm, members of the building trade will receive one euro each from the demonstrators, employees in the medical or educational fields will receive 20 cents, while homeless people will not receive anything. "This will symbolise the imbalance in Government priorities, where support for builders continues to be radically higher than any other area of Irish society," protest spokesman Vincent Salafia said last night. The money distributed today follows the benefit last night which centred on a debate on whether the Hill of Tara should be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, despite the M3 passing through it.

Concert cash to be given away in Tara protest
- The Irish Times - Monday 25 August

Environmentalists campaigning against the M3 motorway at Tara are planning to give away the proceeds of a benefit concert in protest over the Government’s National Development Plan (NDP). TaraWatch, which has been battling to re-route the controversial M3 route, will hand out money outside the new Department of Finance offices on Dublin’s Baggot Street. But anyone expecting a windfall has been warned builders will only be given €1, medical workers and teachers will get just 20 cents while the homeless will get nothing. Vincent Salafia, spokesman for the protesters, said it symbolises the imbalance in Government priorities with support for builders radically higher than other areas of society. “The economic justification for the NDP and the M3 has evaporated, with the economic downturn, and it is economic suicide to carry on as if nothing has happened,” he said. “Fianna Fáil, mindlessly propped up by the Green Party and the Progressive Democrats, have clearly made a lot promises to their supporters in the building trade that they feel cannot be undone, no matter what logic it defies or what damage it does to the economy as a whole. “We are demanding truly sustainable development, not the corrupted version we are being fed at the moment, that is harming rather than improving society as a whole.” Dressed as fat-cats the demonstrators will hold their protest and offer donations over lunchtime. The proceeds will come from the Tara Benefit Concert being held tonight in Dublin’s Arts Club.


Demonstrators are calling for solidarity with the Shell to Sea Campaign by asking people to bring gas bottles, to show the Green's active participation in the sell-off of Irish gas, again in violation fo their own policies.

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org


author by TaraWatchpublication date Tue Sep 09, 2008 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[Image by Nial Carson, Press Association]

Tara Group Smoke Out Greens

The Irish Sun - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DEMONSTRATORS Siobhan Rice, Vincent Salafia and Colm MacNiallais, of the Save Tara Campaign don fat cat suits and smoke cigars to protest at Green Party headquarters in Dublin yesterday. They say the land for road construction at Tara highlights the Greens ’sell-out’ since entering government with Fianna Fail. The fuming trio also slammed the party’s failure to deliver on their pre-election promises. A recent carbon tax call by the Greens as well as their support for budget cuts in spending on public transport, such as the Metro and the Western rail link were raised by protestors.

TaraWatch Acts the Fuel

Irish Daily Mirror - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TARAWATCH campaigners fire themselves up as they took their campaign to the Green Party HQ yesterday. Siobhan Rice, Vincent Salafia and Colm MacNiallais, members of the anti-M3 motorway group, in County Meath, hand out bags of coal to the public in Dublin. The protest was in response to the Green calls for carbon taxes and cuts on public transport spending.

See taraWatch press release at: http://www.tarawatch.org/?p=746


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