Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Garrett McCafferty

 

As this is the first question, I would like my constituents to know that my driving political philosophy is that Dublin, indeed Ireland and all nations, must acknowledge that we are under the sovereign dominion of Jesus Christ the King. The challenge posed in this question, and all of our difficulties in fact, can be ameliorated if we conduct ourselves according to His Commandments.

Specifically, to increase the supply of social homes, the council needs to become the building contractor itself like it was done back in the 1980s. This will keep down costs and separate public housing from the private housing market. To avoid the situation of vulture funds controlling vast swathes of the rental market, tariffs need to be imposed on foreign investors to make this situation less attractive.

The whole housing crisis could be improved by thoughtfully designed and thus easy-to-use web apps that facilitate more mobility and flexibility with regards to tenancies and their financing. As it is, systems are opaque, confusing and people tend to get locked-in to arrangements, with no prospect or hope of upward mobility. HAP [the Housing Assistance Payment scheme] has made some moves in this direction already.

The current consensus that the economic theory of globalism is necessary, needs to be challenged. Dublin sometimes feels like one big Airbnb, with new fully grown adults arriving here on a daily basis from far-flung corners of the world. This would entail leaving the EU to obtain that power back.

 

Supply needs to increase to meet demand. Demand is being inflated by new people coming into the country from abroad. This is due to the devotion to the economic theory of globalism, which is increasingly been seen as outdated and ineffective.

Workers should not be seen as resources, but as heads of families. I believe that people should generally stay in the countries that God gave them as peoples, and this means I am not greatly in favour of Irish people moving to seek their fortune abroad either. Their skills are needed here. We have enough new foreign adults here now. I think our focus must shift towards us all living together in peace and loving harmony, without any further flux. Now is the time, as the best way to do this is to maintain a Christian hegemony. Additionally, economies and communities grow and thrive naturally through the cycle of birth, adulthood and old age. In this way there is more time for the market to provide needs like accommodation.

I believe in free-market economics but authorities such as the council and government should intervene when crony capitalism takes root. At the moment an unhealthy cartel seems to exist between the auctioneers, vulture funds and estate agents. Renting is not going to go away so tenants’ rights should be increased somewhat to make it a less socially shameful lifestyle choice – much in line of the status of renting on mainland Europe.

 

We should have a tiered system of accommodation where through web-based software citizens are empowered to have the flexibility to move to better accommodation if they wish. Smaller micro-apartments should be built, but again with measures in place that tenants do not feel there are no options or too big a hassle to move to larger accommodation in the future. The whole welfare and tax systems need to be overhauled to allow people to work short-term casual work in a legal, fully legitimate way.

 

I agree with the other candidates in my local electoral area on this issue. There is obviously a financial incentive in property owners leaving sites vacant. Taxes should be lowered in the areas that are disinhibiting property owners from bringing these sites back into day-to-day use. Failing that, impose vacant site levies as suggested.

 

I tend to think that a subway system is the best way to go. These have been implemented worldwide for more than a hundred years. I don’t like the Luas and think it was very poorly designed. It should be scrapped in favour of a robust subway system. I like the standard bus fare idea proposed above, as an immediate short-term solution, as there is a pause in traffic flow every time a bus stops.

 

Some people don’t like cycling no matter how many safe and fenced-off cycle lanes you create. Motorists in Dublin are generally very considerate to the movements of cyclists, taxi drivers particularly so. The one-metre rule for motorists passing cyclists was an overreach of authority, in my opinion. Cyclists are still breaking the rules of the road in large numbers. Dublin City Council should consider implementing an electric scooter scheme in addition to extending DublinBikes, to avoid private companies cherry picking locations in a haphazard way in the future, and to facilitate people who may not feel they have the necessary fitness to cycle yet.

 

The concern about climate change seems to me closely linked to moves towards global governance, and carbon taxes a way to fund this change. I don’t believe everything we are been told about it. Why is China exempt from carbon-emission restrictions? Carbon dioxide is food for trees. I do fully believe in damage to the environment though from harmful chemicals from industry however.

I think it was wrong of the council sending out men on quads with 300 litres of glyphosate on the back driving around spraying everywhere. Weeds should be pulled or strimmed as opposed to being sprayed and this is an example where small local jobs could be done with the full consent and knowledge of the Department of Social Protection, and Revenue, by people looking for extra income. A kind of ad hoc, casual-work economy.

Water charges should be increased slightly for the fast-food industry to encourage more frugal consumption. This proposal should be presented to the Oireactas/Irish Water. Also the only local place for folks to dispose of batteries is the little boxes provided by Aldi by their windows. Thanks to them for that.

 

Public bins need to emptied more regularly. There should be more bins too. Nobody wants to walk and extended length of time with a used package in their hands. I agree with the idea mentioned above that the council should take back complete control of household and business bins – waste management. Privatisation has not worked well.

The advantage of council control would be that there would be a single colour-coding system for the various types of bins. More than one type of green bin should be provided to push the original user to help in the sorting process. The recycle bins, of whatever amount of types, should be free. A graded penalty system should be administered parallel to this to discourage abuse of the recycling bins – according to the amount and type of incorrect waste placed in them. An effective bins service will reduce illegal dumping, I believe.

The DNA testing of dog poo idea seems clever as in reality it will make people think twice because they will wonder if the test could be administered if they walk away. In effect it would be a strong deterrent, without necessarily involving a huge amount of actual tests when it is up and running. This would take time to roll out beginning with all new puppies’ DNA logged to a database. In the short term, quickly biodegradable bags could be posted to dog owners on request, and the waste could subsequently be pushed under nearby hedging or shrubbery, at least in public areas.

 

The parks and green areas that we have at present could be vastly improved. A lot of them have just run-of-the-mill trees, mainly grass and some drab shrubbery. Modern horticulture allows a much greater variety of plants to be grown in our climate now. The green areas should get full-time park wardens for both the security of the improved landscaping and the citizens enjoying them.

 

College Green is a disaster. It is unsightly, cramped for pedestrians and hazardous for cyclists from being strewn with arching tramlines. The Luas should be scrapped in favour of a subway and thus the College Green Plaza idea would be viable. This could be an incredible focal point and public space in the heart of the city. As I mentioned in Question 9 above, park wardens should be visible and on the beat to discourage anti-social behaviour.

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