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Senator Alex White: working for Dublin South



As part of our continuing campaign in the run-up to the Dublin South by-election on June 5, we have opened a new constituency office on Bird Avenue, Dundrum, right in the heart of the constituency.

For several years, we have had an office in Rathfarnham which has been open to accommodate the needs of the people of Rathfarnham, Knocklyon, Ballyboden and Churchtown.

With these new premises, we will seek to assist the residents of Dundrum, Ballinteer, Sandyford, Windy Arbour, Goatstown and Mount Merrion.

A drop-in service is available in both Rathfarnham and Bird Avenue. Our office at 1 Main Street, Rathfarnham is open between 10 am and 1pm on Fridays and the office at 1 Bird Avenue is open between 2pm and 4pm also on Fridays.

If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss a matter of concern in Dublin South please do not hesitate to contact me. You can call (01) 618 3972 or email [email protected].

The campaign begins...

This week sees the beginning of my campaign to secure the support of the people of Dublin South in the forthcoming by-election.

Over the coming weeks, I will be out and about meeting the people of Dublin south, listening to their views on the challenges we face together, and sharing with them my perspective on the need now for a fresh approach to politics.

To mark the beginning to this intensive period of campaigning, we have mounted a short outdoor advertising campaign which will run on bus shelters and Luas across the constituency.

Remember to keep an eye on the website and blog and I have just launched my new Facebook page. You can become a supporter of mine on Facebook and receive regular updates from the campaign trail, along with receiving notification on the where we’ll be canvassing.

I hope to meet and exchange views with as many constituents as I can. In the meantime, you can contact me by using the ‘Contact Alex’ section of the site.

More :: Visit my Facebook page by clicking here

Alex introduces Party Leader Eamon Gilmore at the
Labour Conference, Kilkenny.

Live video chat by Ustream

White Selected as Candidate in forthcoming by-election

I’m pleased and deeply honoured to have been selected by the Labour Party organisation in Dublin South as our candidate in the forthcoming By-Election in Dublin South. This By-Election, necessitated by the sad passing of Seamus Brennan, will now come at a most crucial time for our country.

Never before have we had such a clear opportunity to make decisive choices about what are the important values to our society. The recent budget statement – now apparently unravelling by the day – is the clearest evidence yet of this government’s failure on its most crucial responsibility: to secure the wellbeing of the citizens of the country, and to promote a caring and equal society. We are now reaping the errors of ten years of mismanagement and poor governance.

In due course, there will have to be a political reckoning as to what happened. As to what the current Taoiseach and indeed his predecessor as Taoiseach knew – and when did they know it. It is simply not credible to the Irish people that this economic crisis came out of nowhere. The vulnerability of our economy lies to a very considerable extent squarely at the door of the government. This is an issue which we will need to address in vigorous political debate.

At the moment, however, we are in a crisis. The solutions proposed by the government to redress the budgetary imbalance have seen cruel and unnecessary attacks on the future education of our young and the health and well being of our old. After many years of unprecedented growth and wealth generation these solutions are simply unacceptable. Labour, on the other hand, has put forward a bold and innovative programme to stimulate our economy. Over the coming months we will take this plan out to the doorsteps.

I look forward, along with many of my parliamentary and party colleagues to meeting with you and discussing the issues that are important to both of us, as we work towards delivering a decisive statement to this government that enough is enough, and that change is now required.

In this challenge, I hope I can count on your support.

Senator Alex White
Labour Candidate for the Dublin South by-election

Seanad Debate on the Economy takes place

2008 has been an extremely tough year on the economic front, and it has not been helped by Government mismanagement of the situation. Before we broke for the Christmas break, the Seanad had an all-day debate on the issue. Above you will find a video of my own comments. For more on this and other videos, feel free to visit the blog.

Launch of Agency Workers Bill

The need to provide adequate protection for workers is at the core of the Labour Party's Agency Workers Bill which was launched yesterday. It follows the Government's decision last week to vote down our Private Members motion calling for the introduction of such legislation.

"The Bill is about real politics," Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD said yesterday launching the Bill.

"It is about the needs of real people. It is about protecting the rights of some of the hardest working and most vulnerable people in our economy. The people who are at work before we are having our breakfast; the people who labour on the margins of the labour market, with few protections or guarantees."

Labour's Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Willie Penrose said: "Agency work increasingly means discrimination in the workplace, poorer pay and denial of sick, holiday and overtime pay. It is often used by employers as a means of avoiding many of their responsibilities. Numerous EU member states have addressed this issue in one way or another, but Ireland is lagging behind."


Revised funding for community facilities welcome, but major problems remain on childare

The Labour Party has given a broad welcome to revised proposals for funding arrangements for community childcare facilities announced by the Minister of State for Children, Brendan Smith TD. However the party has criticised the government for its narrow and limited focus in the development of childcare provision.

Party Spokesperson on Children, Senator Alex White said: "The new proposals represent the minimum necessary to avoid disaster for many community based childcare facilities and the families who depend on them.

"There was no justification for the original plan to withdraw subsidies for childcare for all parents, other than those on social welfare or in receipt of Family Income Supplement (FIS), as this had the potential to force those on low incomes - especially single parents - out of the workforce.

"While these changes are welcome they will be of assistance only to those parents who have access to very limited community based childcare facilities. They will do nothing for the majority of families in this country in regard to childcare needs. The reality is that for many parents, childcare remains difficult to access and is very expensive. The improvements announced by Minister Smith will do nothing to address this problem.

Many parents are paying as much for childcare as they are in mortgage repayments. We need a radical approach to the financing of childcare, and we also need to put in place the supports to allow parents to have more time off to spend with their children, especially when they are very young. Such a system is the norm in many countries; why not in Ireland?

Subvention for social welfare recipients and low-paid parents is only one element in a much bigger challenge. The provision of high-quality and universally accessible system of childcare ought to be a real priority for the government. Yesterday's announcements, while necessary and therefore welcome, in reality constitute tinkering with a grossly inadequate system. There is no sign from this government that they are willing to address the bigger picture.


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