Labour Party Leader and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly calls for action on housing wages and healthcare
Labour Party Leader and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly says a rent freeze can be done at the party's national conference.
Mr Kelly says the cost of rent has become "obscene", and the government's plan is nothing new.
"I was able to freeze rents for two years in 2015, but since then, the conservative parties in power have allowed record increases. There is no constitutional issue here; I should know. So, government, just do it," said Mr Kelly.
He said the housing system is broken, and young people do not believe they will ever be able to own their own "forever home".
He asked why a ban on evictions, radical plans to build homes and a referendum on the right to housing.
He said that the measure put in place during the pandemic show what can be done to make Ireland better.
Mr Kelly paid tribute to his hometown of Portroe for looking after each other during the pandemic as well as Tipperary as the home of the Labour party.
"Covid changed everything, and it's still with us. It brought us back to our communities and our core values. I am from a small village called Portroe outside Nenagh. We all rallied together like everywhere else. Neighbours looked out for each other, got the groceries and made sure everyone was okay. We didn't know what lay ahead. But out of fear came a great strength," said Mr Kelly.
Mr Kelly praised essential workers during the Covid-19 crisis.
He said they were who the public could rely on and deserve more than a thank you.
"Claps don't pay the bills or put food on the table," said Mr Kelly.
He said Ireland's record on low pay affects women and young people the most.
Mr Kelly also says that change in Ireland starts with the introduction of a living wage.
"There is an epidemic of low pay in Ireland, and everyone gets a raw deal in a low wage republic," said Mr Kelly.
He also called for more action on climate change and promised a carbon credit and more childcare supports for families.
Mr Kelly paid tribute to healthcare workers still working in difficult conditions.
He committed the Labour party to building a single-tier health service if they are in government.
"This is why we work together to shape policies to make Ireland a fairer, kinder, better place. This work is not easy its take vision of where we are going and action to get us there. It challenges us to lead the change and bring everyone with us, said Mr Kelly.
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