General Election 2020

GE2020: Ask the Louth candidate: Audrey Fergus

Six questions for Louth's general election candidates

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

GE2020: Ask the Louth candidate: Audrey Fergus

GE2020: Ask the Louth candidate: Audrey Fergus

The Dundalk Democrat put six questions to all 15 candidates standing in the Louth constituency for General Election 2020.

Two specific questions in each of the three categories, crime, healthcare and climate change were put to the candidates.

Seven out of the 15 candidates responded. Over the next seven articles we share their responses.

The questions were as follows and the responses from Solidarity - People Before Profit candidate Audrey Fergus are below:

Crime

  • What resources would you provide for people in Louth to keep them from drifting into criminality?
  • Do you favour decriminalisation of drugs as part of a range of measures to combat addiction? 

Environment

  • Would you support the idea of making school buses mandatory for all school goers who do not cycle of walk to school - as a means of combating climate change, promote healthy lifestyles and cutting down on rush hour traffic?
  • What public transport measures would you implement in Louth to combat climate change? - would it include free public transport for all? What investment would you make towards electric buses and when would it happen?

Healthcare

  • Would you end the use of agency healthcare workers, including nurses? Timeline?
  • What facilities would you make available in Louth to help fight mental illness and help promote good mental health?

Audrey Fergus' responses:

Crime

Q1: Build communities and give everyone a sense of well-being and purpose.

This would be done by leveling the playing field in areas of health and education initially, whilst also creating meaningful employment, shorter working weeks (employing more people), providing amenities such as subsidised gyms, sporting activities and access to creative arts projects.

Q2: Yes, People Before Profit would move to adopting the Portugese Model of dealing with the out of control problems associated with drug use and misuse. 

Environment

Q1: Yes, we have long passed the point of allowing our car dependent culture to continue.

We have a range of urgent proposals to help play our part in combating climate change, including proper investment in affordable and frequent public transport, both urban and rural, moving to a free public transport system. Proper planning and provision of cycle lanes and walkways.

Q2: As above, providing free frequent public transport. Smaller frequent shuttle buses, increasing frequency at commuter times.

These would run from early morning to maybe 6 or 7 each evening with later times added over the weekend to accommodate those heading to and from rural pubs and town centres to socialise.

We would retrofit diesel buses as a matter of urgency and move to a fully electric public transport system, including an extended rail system.

Healthcare

Q1: Yes, we see the waste in our healthcare system overall, including the hiring of agency staff and paying premium prices in the process.

Often these staff, especially care workers, have reduced working rights and no pensions included in their agency contracts. We need to stop enriching private companies and take workers back into the public system now.

If we improved working conditions and reduced the cost of living like lowering rents, providing childcare and free easier commutes, we might finally entice those trained in areas of health to work in this country.

Q2: Obviously preventative measures are best through healthier communities, lifestyles and raising everyone's standards of living to give everyone a chance to reach their full potential and gain a sense of purpose in life.

People Before Profit want to create a network of community primary care centres and provide free GP care for all including 24 hour community based diagnostics and beds for those suffering from mental health issues.

We would also increase the funding and support to charitable organisations who work with those who are lonely, homeless and in despair. These organisations hold expertise in these areas and would be listened to, as we help create a proper functioning mental health service for all who need it.

Note that everything PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT wants to do rests on sharing the wealth. We want taxes to be fair and proportionate to incomes and assets.

Can I direct all who read my answers to our Election Manifesto 2020 and our Budget 2020 to see how we can make this happen. You will find these on our website www.pbp.ie