Vote 2011: The Future is in Your Hands

This election takes place at a critical juncture in our history. I am asking you to vote for change. Party politics and family dynasties have failed to serve the people and we need a government that is
accountable to us.

The international financiers who recklessly gambled their money on runaway banks must bear their own losses. We must act immediately to separate the private bank debt from the sovereign debt of Ireland. We can then start the economic recovery and create jobs and better public services in Kerry North/West Limerick.

The region of Kerry North/West Limerick has distinct opportunities in tourism, agriculture, technology and green energy. I want to channel our collective strengths into creating sustainable employment.

Now is the time for a strong independent voice. I will strive to make
Ireland a country in which our children can grow, prosper and live out
their lives. The future is in your hands.

The Last Word: A Cloud of Utterances From Here

Mary Fitzgibbon appears on The Daily Show on RTE 1

On Monday February 21st Mary, along with three other independent candidates  appeared on The Daily Show. Mary’s contribution can be seen here:

The full show can be accessed here.

Mary Fitzgibbon introduces herself and explains her jobs policy (video)

In the following two videos Mary Fitzgibbon introduces herself and explains her plans for job creation.

David McWilliams on Bank Debt Default, Sovereign Funding & How Safe are Bank Deposits?

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Candidate, Kerry North/Limerick West) has participated in two economic webinars with economist David McWilliams .

These online clinics are provided by the People’s Economy network which provides economic advice about realistic solutions to Ireland’s crisis.

Mary Fitzgibbon says that the international financiers who recklessly gambled their money on runaway banks must bear their own losses. We must act immediately to separate the private bank debt from the sovereign debt of Ireland. We can then start the economic recovery and create jobs and better public services.

A Stark Choice: Bank Default or Sovereign Default?

David McWilliams explained at last Friday’s webinar that “the sovereign default is a disaster but the bank default is simply reinstating the rules of capitalism. If the ECB were to behave like good Europeans what they would realise is that there is a long game here and you shouldn’t penalise the Irish people for the gambling debts of Deutsche Bank and some of the other German banks who lent to the Irish banks.”

Replay the People’s Economy Webinar Here:

Would a Banking Debt Default Leave us with No Money?

Mary Fitzgibbon: Both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael repeat the mantra that we ran out of money and that a banking debt default would leave us with no money to pay public servants such as teachers, nurses and gardai. How can we counter this propaganda?

David McWilliams: This is complete and utter nonsense. If we separated the bank debt from the sovereign debt our debt to GDP ratio falls to 73%. This is the debt to GDP ratio which is the crucial figure because it’s your ability to pay which is lower than France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium and of course Greece and Portugal.

So we could go back to the markets very quickly. You would organise a bridging loan with the IMF because that’s what the IMF does and I think the IMF is actually more on our side than the EU or the the ECB seem to be at the moment. You organise a bridging loan with the IMF and that ties you over for three or four months and you then go back to the markets with a much cleaner balance sheet and get ready to raise money.

Then, obviously you have to have a fiscal adjustment that is credible and you have to have a policy that says that over the next we are going to do this and this and the markets have to believe you…so it is propaganda Mary and we would get financed elsewhere but we have to go out and actively seek it.

Are Deposits Safe in an Irish Bank? Continue reading

Let’s End the Denial and Offer Positive Supports for Our Emigrants

Australian Government poster displayed 1949 to 1951 at migrant reception centres.

Nearly 1,000 citizens leave Ireland every week in a tide of forced emigration. It is estimated that 100,000 will leave over the next two years.

Emigration is causing huge  social destruction and emotional heartache here in Kerry North/Limerick West.  It is raised every time that I meet people during this campaign .

Last Saturday a mother in Tarbert told me grimly that her four children have emigrated and that she feels the political parties are in denial about the reality of emigration.

I am a  returned emigrant who took ‘Slattery’s Bus’ to London in 1987 and worked in midwifery there during the nineties. It saddens me to to witness the graduate nurses of 2011 following the same path. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past for my children and yours.

Bailing Out Private Banks to Export our Children

Poster from 1914 promoting emigration to Canada

Forced emigration will continue as long as the political parties refuse to face the reality that Ireland must default on the private bank debt that is owed to financial speculators. Only then can we seriously start to recover and create jobs. Even so, it will realistically take at least three years to return to high employment levels.

Job placement and work schemes are useful for graduates and those out of work to gain some experience but they are a very temporary solution as people ultimately want to earn a decent wage in order to finance key life decisions such as supporting a family or owning a home.

So emigration is with us for now but we must take initiatives to support our departing emigrants, nurture our diaspora while they are abroad and facilitate their return in the near future.

My Four Proposals for Positive Emigrant Support:

  1. A new agency with responsibility for pre-departure services both at home and abroad in order to give our emigrants the best possible chance of succeeding abroad.
  2. A one year rebate of tax and levies to be paid to those who are departing Ireland in order to secure work abroad.
  3. A vote for the Irish abroad in all elections at home. The ballotbox.ie campaign has highlighted the reasons why this is imperative.
  4. Facilitate and encourage the Irish abroad to return to job opportunities at home as the economy recovers. Advertise all public service jobs on the publicjobs.ie site and allow shortlisted candidates who are abroad to do  interviews via internet video link.

We need to act and to start planning now so that we can support and cherish those who are forced to leave Ireland.

I welcome your suggestions and opinions. We need to have a much more open discussion about these issues in order to collectively devise appropriate supports and positive measures.

Deenihan Plays Dodge on Public Service Redundancies Plan

Deenihan: I'll see your 30,000 and raise you 10,000

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Kerry North/West Limerick) has challenged Fine Gael Deputy Jimmy Deenihan to be honest about his plan for public service job cuts in his constituency.

Deenihan (an FG front bencher) has claimed that if he gets into government he would cut 12,000 less public service jobs than the 30,000 that is already targeted in the Fine Gael manifesto.

He gave the commitment during a Radio Kerry debate with the other election candidates in Kerry North/West Limerick. He was responding to Mary Fitzgibbon who challenged him about precisely how many public service posts in Kerry/Limerick that Fine Gael would cut.

Deenihan claimed that the Fine Gael manifesto “mentioned 30,000 but 12,000 are gone already so there would be only 18,000 redundancies”. However, the clear policy in the Fine Gael manifesto policy is to cut an additional 30,000 public servants on top of the 12,000 that were already removed up to 2010.

Deputy Richard Bruton (FG Enterprise Spokesman) has repeatedly confirmed that the Fine Gael plan is to cut 30,000 additional posts. However, Deenihan continues to contradict his front bench colleague with his renegade claim of 18,000 redundancies and refuses to specify where the public service job cuts will be in Kerry North/West Limerick.

Deenihan is misleading his constituents about the Fine Gael plan for the public service. He is on the front bench and he knows full well that Fine Gael want another 30,000 public service redundancies on top of the 12,000 that Fianna Fail already cut. It’s time for Jimmy to be honest about the Fine Gael manifesto and for him to identify what jobs will be lost in Kerry.

A total loss of a 42,000 posts under Fine Gael would decimate public services and would see at least 1,000 jobs go in Kerry North/West Limerick including nurses, gardai, teachers and other public servants. It would  have a devastating effect on the local economy in a region where employment is so scarce.