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Paul Gogarty
Paul Gogarty
Independent
Party 6


Incumbent : No

Main message to voters:

An Independent Alliance of TDs holding the balance of power would enhance our democratic system. Government stability would be provided on final budgetary votes, with other legislation decided without a whip on a case by case basis. This has worked in Australia and at local level in Ireland.

Election history:

TD (Dublin Mid West Constituency) 2002-2007 and 2007-2011. Former Chair, Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills. Councillor, South Dublin County Council (Lucan/Palmerstown Electoral Area) 1999-2002 and 2014 to date. Member of Joint Policing Forum and Regional Health Forum.

Priorities:

  1. Fairness: With finances still tight, available resources need to be allocated fairly and effectively to the services and people that need them most.
  2. Democratic reform: The Dáil has become a rubber-stamping chamber. We need real debate and decisions that balance leadership with consultation.
  3. Unlike many TDs, I achieved something tangible in protecting investment in education at a time of massive cutbacks. This remains a personal priority.

Candidate positions on the election issues:

Budget and taxes

What should the priority be in the next budget?

With a growing economy, government revenue is increasing. This can be put back into the economy in the form of tax cuts or increased spending on public services, or it can be used to reduce the national debt.
Prioritise increased spending on public services
Prioritise tax cuts
Prioritise reducing the national debt
None of the above
Comment:
"Our financial situation is still tight and the global economic outlook stil uncertain. We don't have the luxury of making optimistic projections about potential funding. So I say be prudent, but fair, and spend any additional resources on the people and services that need them most first. "
1 of 22 questions

Should high earners pay more tax than they currently do?

There are two income tax rates: the standard rate of 20% applies to all income up to a certain amount (€33,800 for a single person); and the higher rate of 40%, applies to all income earned over that amount. The Universal Social Charge is also payable at different rates depending on income.
Yes, to reduce economic inequality high earners should pay more tax
No, high earners pay enough at present
No, to reward work high earners should pay less tax than they do now
None of the above
Comment:
"A simple "tax the super rich" mantra won't get much extra money as you can only obtain what can't be transferred abroad. But those who have the most should pay more. Equally we need to incentivise job creation through progressive tax policies and developing an entrepreneurial society."
2 of 22 questions

Water

How should water be funded?

Currently, water charges are capped at €160 per year for households with one adult and €260 for households with more than one adult. Households with low water usage may get a rebate.
Water should be free at the point of use and funded through general taxation
The current policy (with capped charges per household) should be maintained
Households that use more water (above a set allowance) should pay more
None of the above
Comment:
"I opposed Irish Water and tabled a motion seeking a referendum on all aspects of water services. If people want the general water service funded through general taxation I support that. Separate to revenue we also need to incentivise conservation, so give generous free allowance but penalise waste."
3 of 22 questions

Should water charges be boycotted?

Some political parties and groups have advocated a boycott of the water charges
Yes, water charges are wrong and should be boycotted
No, water charges are wrong, but we should obey the law and pay
No, water charges are necessary
None of the above
Comment:
"I don't agree with what has been implemented but we live in a democracy and as such while the democratically elected government passed legislation I don't like, I will grin and bear it. We have the opportunity to let our voices be heard on the 26th of February."
4 of 22 questions

Abortion

When should abortion be permitted?

Abortion is currently only permitted when the life of the mother is at risk (including risk of suicide). Legal abortions are rare; for example, there were 26 cases during 2014.
Only when the mother’s life is at risk from illness
Only when the mother’s life is at risk from illness or suicide (the current position)
When the mother’s life is at risk and in certain other cases such as rape and fatal foetal abnormality
Abortion should be freely available up to a certain number of weeks in a pregnancy
None of the above
Comment:
"I don't support abortion on demand. I've heard stories from people who felt they had no choice but to have an abortion and those who regretted doing so. I can't judge and my views shift constantly. I think a constitutional convention should look at a multiple options and put them all to the people."
5 of 22 questions

Should there be a referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution?

The 8th Amendment introduced a constitutional ban on abortion by acknowledging the right to life of the unborn (with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother).
Yes, the 8th Amendment should be repealed
There should be a referendum, but I would vote to defend the 8th Amendment
No, there should not be a referendum on the 8th Amendment
None of the above
Comment:
"I support a multi-choice referendum that looks at perhaps 5/6 options ranging from the two extremes to in-between. As I said I can't judge, it's not a black and white area, but we need a real debate that avoids polarisation if possble. This could be constitutional or indicative for legislators."
6 of 22 questions

Wages and employment

Should the minimum wage be increased?

The minimum wage has recently been raised to €9.15 per hour.
Yes, the minimum wage should be increased further
No, it is high enough; further increases could mean fewer jobs
No, the minimum wage is too high and should be decreased
None of the above
Comment:
"I support a gradual increase to a living wage. The only exception would be if the economy hits a downturn again and the cost of living falls. That said, I also support a guaranteed basic income, which replaces social welfare and tax free allowances and incentivises work."
7 of 22 questions

Should all employees be guaranteed a certain number of hours work per week?

In some sectors, such as retail, the number of hours work offered to employees varies greatly from week to week.
Yes, employees who want it should be given a guaranteed number of hours
Employers should try to provide guaranteed hours to staff, but the state should not intervene
No, employers sometimes need flexibility in order to stay in business
None of the above
Comment:
"Anyone employed in a job should have a reasonable income expectation. I differentiate between employees and contractors. In a genuine business that takes on staff intermittently, contractors make sense. In the construction industry, it's more of a scam to cut employer's PRSI and get cheap labour."
8 of 22 questions

Housing

Should there be tighter controls on rent?

Currently, landlords can only increase rent every two years, and rent increases must be justifiable in terms of the market rate.
Yes, to improve rent certainty increases should be capped in line with inflation
No, current controls on rent are adequate
No, rent controls are to be opposed as they reduce the supply of housing
None of the above
Comment:
"Too many people have been made homeless recently as a result of rent increases. It's immoral. If investors say they can't afford to rent at current levels the situation should be investigated and perhaps tweaks made to mortgage interest relief or other limited compensatory tax breaks."
9 of 22 questions

What is your view on the Local Property Tax?

The Local Property Tax is charged on all residential properties. The revenue raised is used to fund services by local authorities.
The Local Property Tax is fair and provides much needed revenue for local authorities
Property taxes are a good idea, but the current system needs to be reformed
Property taxes are unfair and should be abolished
None of the above
Comment:
"I oppose the current property tax in favour of a site valuation tax that penalises developers for holding onto land as speculators. Those who are struggling to keep a home should not be the ones suffering. I DO support a local Council tax, even as a percentage of income, to ring fence money locally."
10 of 22 questions

What is your view on Traveller accommodation?

The Department of the Environment provides funding to local authorities for Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes), but many local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition.
More should be done to provide accommodation for Travellers, even if there is local opposition
More Traveller accommodation is needed, but it should not be built against the wishes of the local community
The state should not build accommodation specifically for Travellers
None of the above
Comment:
"There is a need to strike a balance and in my Council we've had a very good record on provision. There are legitimite reasons for opposing any planning application, including Traveller accomodation, and then there is the NIMBY argument. Each case needs to be looked at on its merits,"
11 of 22 questions

Health and childcare

Should there be free health care for all, paid for through higher taxes?

Currently, only some people are entitled to free health care or free GP care. Many people who can afford it choose to take out private health insurance.
Yes, health care should be free for all, even if it means higher taxes
GP care should be free, but universal health care would cost too much
No, those who can afford to pay should not have free health care
None of the above
Comment:
"I think the debate is as much about management and efficiencies as it is about taxation. But if people actually saw an improvement in service, they might appreciate the value of the tax investment. As of now, nobody would trust a government to increase taxes for health in case it is managed badly."
12 of 22 questions

Should the state do more to cover the cost of childcare?

The cost of childcare in Ireland is high by international standards. From September 2016, children over the age of three will be entitled to free pre-school for three hours a day. Beyond that it is up to parents to pay.
Yes, even if it means less resources available for other measures
No, current subsidies for childcare are adequate
No, the cost of childcare should be borne by parents
None of the above
Comment:
"I think investment in childcare, particularly in early years education will pay for itself in multiples. This has been borne out in international studies. Over the medium term, the investment will be neutral to positive. What other resources do you cut back on is the question!"
13 of 22 questions

Religion in schools

Should religion be taught in state-funded primary schools?

Typically, primary schools spend 30 minutes a day on religious education, which in most cases involves instruction in a particular faith.
Yes, schools should instruct pupils in line with their religions ethos
Pupils should learn about various religions, not one particular faith
No, religion should only be taught outside of school
None of the above
Comment:
"I support the right of choice in religious education with protection for a particular ethos. That means ensuring that Catholic ethos schools are protected but that there are more other denominational and non denominational. I would support a referendum on whether religion should be taugh in schools."
14 of 22 questions

Should schools be allowed to give preference to children based on religion?

Approximately 96% of primary schools in Ireland are under religious patronage. In areas where schools are oversubscribed, some schools give preference to children based on their religion.
Yes, schools should be able to serve their own religious community first
Yes, but only if there are suitable alternatives (e.g. non-denominational schools) in the area
No, religion should have no place in school admissions policies for state-funded schools
None of the above
Comment:
"As of now that's my position, but if we had a common enrolment per geographic area, then that problem would largely be dealt with."
15 of 22 questions

Immigration, the EU

Should we accept more refugees in Ireland than we currently do?

In response to the migrant crisis, the current government has agreed to accept more refugees. However, Ireland still takes a relatively small number of refugees compared to some EU countries (such as Germany and Sweden).
Yes, we should accept a greater number of refugees
No, we accept enough already
No, we should accept fewer refugees than we currently do
None of the above
Comment:
"We take in far less than other comparable countries and we actually have the resources to support refugees AND our homeless. But we also need a robust immigration policy and asylum screening process at the same time. I support family unification, oppose direct provision and want a balanced approach."
16 of 22 questions

Has European integration gone too far?

Some argue that greater integration is necessary to tackle EU-wide issues such as the financial crisis and the migrant crisis, while others believe that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states.
Yes, more power should be returned to member states
The current level of integration is acceptable
No, European integration should be pushed further
None of the above
17 of 22 questions

Environment

Should more wind farms be built in Ireland?

Currently, Ireland has 199 wind farms, which produce around 18% of the country’s electricity. Ireland has signed up to a target of generating 40% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Yes, we need more wind farms
No, there are enough wind farms already
No, there are too many wind farms
None of the above
Comment:
"Only in the right place, with the consent of local communities and with any dividend going to local communities as opposed to foreign investors."
18 of 22 questions

Should we sign up to the EU’s targets on reducing emissions?

The European Commission wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Some groups are opposed to this because they believe it would have a negative impact on certain sectors, such as agriculture.
Yes, we should do what it takes to reduce our emissions in line with EU targets
We should seek to reduce emissions, but these targets are too ambitious for Ireland
No, we do not need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
None of the above
Comment:
"It's our moral duty. We CAN do this and we should do this for our children's sake and for the planet."
19 of 22 questions

Political reform

Is the party whip system too rigid?

Political parties nominate someone as the ‘party whip’ whose job it is to ensure that TDs vote according to the party line, or else face the prospect of being removed from the party.
Yes, TDs should take instruction from their constituents or follow their conscience on all matters
TDs should be given a free vote on ethical issues, but on other matters the whip is needed
No, government parties need to be united in order to implement their policies
None of the above
Comment:
"I am running as part of the Independent Alliance of independent candidates. As such we would be disciplined enough to provide stability by voting a Taoiseach and passing annual budgets, but aside from that we would vote on legislation on a case by case basis. The whip has damaged our democracy."
20 of 22 questions

Should citizens be able to initiate referendums?

Currently only the government can call a referendum. In some countries, citizens can initiate a referendum to introduce or overturn legislation or amend the constitution, once a certain number of signatures are collected.
Yes, allowing citizens to initiate referendums would empower the people
Yes, but only for referendums to overturn legislation (not to amend the constitution or introduce new legislation)
No, citizen-initiated referendums would be costly and potentially chaotic
None of the above
Comment:
"I support increased public consultation and participation. I've signed the 1YI pledge for example (www.1Yi.ie) and believe that while politicians should lead when necessary, the default before decisions are finalised should be consultation."
21 of 22 questions

Crime

Are criminal sentences too lenient in Ireland?

There are currently around 3,700 people in prison in Ireland. The number of prisoners has increased in recent years, but the rate of incarceration remains relatively low by international standards.
Yes, criminals should be more severely punished
No, the current sentencing regime is about right
No, there should be a greater focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment
None of the above
Comment:
"Real criminals should be severely punished, but I support community alternatives for lesser crimes. We also need greater investment in educational programmes in our prisons and schools as the vast majority of those commiting crime are educationally disadvantaged. Tough on crime. Tough on the causes."
22 of 22 questions