These are the 6 issues that I will be looking at particularly:
1. Housing; as in an impetus that really recognises the seriousness and urgency of the situation including appropriate funding for immediate work to start on the considerable number of voids in Dublin Central.
2. To see no further cuts in relation to drugs/alcohol and youth services.
3. There has to be significant movement in relation to Water Charges; this is a step too far for many people, certainly not helped with the way it was set up initially with the prioritising of bonuses, packages, consultancy at that stage and no consideration of the impact of these charges on people.
4. Education wise: it is class sizes issue I hope will be addressed; also learning resource hours where needed. There needs to be leeway regarding numbers in primary schools; as Chair of Board of Management of a primary school I have to wonder at the efficiency of a system where the school, because of one student under the quota needed, will lose a teacher; the appeal will go in and if the teacher is replaced the school will have to go through masses of c.v’s and hours of interviews which could have been avoided if there had been some leeway in the beginning.
5. As part of the Oireachtas group on Mental Health we hope our Budget submission will be realised.
6. And regarding Overseas Development Aid – we are moving further and further from our commitment to 0.7%; we have poverty here but nothing on the scale in the Developing world and I hope we can at least maintain the funding where it is now, no decrease and a commitment to moving upward as the economy improves.