NAMA, social housing and the Leasing Initiative

We may end up paying twice for NAMA sourced social housing units - and the State may not even end up owning them. By Eoin Ó Broin.

On Wednesday 21 December 2011 Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan announced that NAMA were to make 2,000 properties available to the Government for social housing.

An interesting year for the left

2011 has been a very interesting year for the southern Irish party political left, writes Eoin Ó Broin.

The general election in February brought the largest number of left-wing deputies into the Oireachtas in its 90-year history. 63 TDs were elected on a variety of social democratic, left republican, revolutionary socialist and independent left platforms.

The combined left vote broke the 40% barrier for the first time in general election history.

Do we want more women in politics?

It's high time we took gender equality seriously. That means removing barriers to women’s participation in politics. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Women make up almost 50% of the population. Yet astonishingly, only 15.1% of TDs in the Dáil are women.

The 2011 general election was one of the most dramatic in recent history, with a record 84 seats changing hands.

More of the same on social housing

Housing policy is one of the issues that goes to the heart of our current economic crisis. More than health or education, it is an area of policy that successive governments left to the mercy of the market. Some of the consequences are widely acknowledged, such as the massive property bubble and subsequent house price crash. Unfortunately, equally important consequences continue to be ignored, namely housing inequality.

Me & Fintan O'Toole Part 1

Fintan O'Toole is an intelligent and thought provoking commentator. His new book Enough Is Enough offers 50 proposals for political and social reform. Many offer sensible and credible solutions to the failures of our current system and are remarkably similar to Sinn Fein's current policy agenda. Others, while not to the tastes of this writer, are none the less valuable contributions to the ongoing debate about how to build a better Ireland.

However, his proposals for how to deal with the current political and economic crisis are completely off the wall.

A six-step political alternative

Public anger is growing. Three austerity budgets and the banking guarantee have deepened rather than resolved the economic crisis. And now, in defiance of all the evidence the government is going to continue with these failed policies with more vigor and determination that ever before.

The four-year plan and Budget 2011 will push thousands of families into poverty. It will deflate the economy, force more people out of work and do nothing to reduce the deficit.

Donegal by-election signals significant change

If today's Paddy Power Red C opinion poll is anything to go by, the result of next weeks Donegal South West by-election look could herald a greater degree of electoral and political change than previously anticipated. Eoin Ó Broin

Five hundred voters from across the constituency were asked to state their preferences for the by-election, for a future general election and for Taoiseach. The results of the poll are startling in a number of respects.

Sharing the burden?

As we collectively brace ourselves for four years of austerity, it is worth remembering that Ireland is not a poor country. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Yes, we have high levels of unemployment and poverty. Yes, we have high levels of private and public debt. But the money that flowed into the country at the height of the boom has not all disappeared.

Claiming Our Future - a participant's view

Something interesting happened in Dublin on Saturday 30, October 2010. It is not yet clear whether what happened was important. But it was interesting nonetheless. By Eoin Ó Broin

More than 1,000 people from all over Ireland gathered in the Industries Hall at the RDS to participate in an event called Claiming Our Future.

There were community and voluntary sector workers, trade unionists, environmentalists, party political activists, campaigners, the self-employed, the unemployed and individual citizens.

2014 plan will damage economy and society

Dan O'Brien argues that abandoning the four year plan to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014 would be insanity (Irish Times Oct 21 2010). He is wrong. By Eoin Ó Broin.

This policy consensus is shared by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour. If implemented, it will damage our economy and society. And ironically it will also do nothing to reduce the deficit.