Deputy Carey asks for equality and fairness this Christmas & New Year

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has said that the best gift Irish society could receive in 2011 would be equity and fairness across all section of society.

Deputy Carey referred to the recent Prime Time documentary on developer lifestyles and contrasted this with many families around the country struggling to meet their heating bills at present.

He has also called on local volunteers groups and charities to assist persons in the coming weeks as the financial implications of the recent adverse weather conditions begin to impact.

Deputy Carey said:

“This is a very difficult time for many people, with the weather conditions making it difficult for many, including elderly persons, to get around. I would encourage everyone to take time out from their day to day activities and check in on any neighbours that may be old or infirm.

We live in times where many of us live more individualistic lives, and there is perhaps an erosion of community spirit in neighbourhoods all around the country. Yet the recent adverse weather conditions can have the effect for making us more close knit. I would hope that, especially during Christmas, we are able to look out for out neighbours who may need assistance.

There is real worry out there among people as to how the heating bills will be paid after the recent cold spell. I want to commend the work of charities such as St Vincent’s De Paul who are carrying out Trojan work at present.

Recently many of us watched in horror the RTE Primetime programme document the extravagant lives of our so called property developers, laden down with Brown Thomas shopping and being helicoptered here and there. The persons I deal with in my office on a daily basis are worried about how to heat their homes and about whether they will be able to afford to buy Christmas presents. They are not driving the latest 4×4, or able to transfer dozens of properties to their wives or spouses. Our society I believe is in danger of becoming every more fractured and unequal, unless a stand is made against these developers.

Every month in this country the ESB cut off 900 home from electricity supply. These are persons who may have been loyal customers for years yet fall behind through no fault of their own. Yet, developers, some of them in our own county, owe billions, and are able to maintain the same lifestyles they had before the downturn. Is this fair?

My wish this Christmas and the New Year is for a more equal, fairer Ireland. I want to live in a country where everyone is judge and expected to shoulder the burden equally. I want a country where those who can pay most, pay most, and those who are the most vulnerable are protected. That is not currently happening.”