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Lorraine Hennessy
Lorraine Hennessy
Workers Party
Party 15


Incumbent : No

Election history:

Lorraine Hennessy ran for South Dublin County Council in 2014 but did not secure a seat.

Party positions on the election issues:

These positions and quotes are based on an analysis of party manifestos and policy documents

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:
"The reported spurt in economic growth making headlines across the state is just an illusion for the great majority of working class people who have experienced little or no recovery while many more have seen their personal situation grow starkly worse as this nascent Celtic Tiger roars for the few."
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:
"We propose to end all tax loopholes; introduce of a minimum effective tax rate; a third tax rate on all earnings over €70,000; ring fence of all USC payments for Health and Education expenditure; increase the rate of employer PRSI; and introduce a corporation tax to an effective rate of above 12.5%."
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:
"We believe that access to clean and safe water is a basic human right and it is the responsibility of the state to provide it. The entire structure, operation & funding model of Irish Water suggests that the government’s plan is to eventually privatise it. It is an inefficient & unnecessary company."
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:
"We believe that the boycott is the best way to defeat Irish Water and the eventual privatisation of our water supply. Despite constant threats and deliberately inflated payment figures aimed at cowing opposition to those water charges there is still mass opposition to them right across the country."
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:
"The Workers’ Party supports the right of women to access reproductive services, including free, safe and legal abortion services, within their own country and believes that individual women are best placed to choose when they need those services."
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:
"The Workers’ Party supports the call for a referendum on the 8th Amendment and is an active member of the Coalition to Repeal the Eight Amendment."
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:
"The Workers’ Party believes that the minimum wage should be increased to the rate of a Living Wage, currently set at €11.50 an hour for full time adult workers, and that all workers must be in receipt of this."
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:
"All workers are entitled to a living wage & predictable working hours. Low hour contracts deny these rights. They undermine workers’ ability to negotiate with employers, and make it impossible to combine work with other duties, such as childcare. ‘Flexible working’ benefits the wealthy, not workers."
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:
"The Workers’ Party believes that housing should be about people and families, not profit and landlords. The state already gives huge subsidies to landlords in the form of rent subsidy and tax breaks. It is unacceptable that it also allows landlords to increase rent without control."
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:
"The Workers’ Party supports the elimination of unfair flat charges including the home and water charges."
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:
"Travellers have been abandoned to the sides of roads, to overcrowded, inadequate, or ‘crisis’ accommodation, and to the private rented sector due to lack of interest in their welfare. If local authorities are unable or unwilling to establish adequate accommodation then the government should step in."
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:
"The fairest & most efficient means of providing healthcare is through the provision of a state system, funded by progressive taxation. Universal health insurance, the option promoted by the current government, creates a marketplace for health care, rather than treating it as a human right."
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:
"The Workers’ Party supports a state funded high quality childcare system based on the primary school model, encompassing infant care, early childhood education, and pre/after school and holiday time care, which is accessible to all parents, including those working unsociable hours."
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:
"Children should have the right to learn about people and customs from all over the world, without preference to any particular code of beliefs. Children should be able to access clear information in their schools about healthcare and sexuality, without reference to religion."
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:
"The Workers’ Party supports a secular state and, in particular, the public provision of secular education and healthcare on an equal basis to everyone. It is the duty of government to deliver these services, something that Irish governments have for too long delegated to religious institutions."
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:
"The conditions that have created the current refugee crisis must be properly understood, i.e. the poverty, conflict, and war created by the capitalist system and major powers. We believe in the humanitarian duty to help those forced to seek asylum."
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
Comment:
"We believe in international cooperation. However, the EU is an institution that serves the interests of capitalism and the exploitation of workers. It is an anti-democratic institution, and we believe that powers need to be returned to the democratic control of the peoples in the member states."
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:
"We seek the creation of an environmentally-sustainable economy serving the many, not the few. Investment in alternative energy sources is essential. Wind farms should be used where most appropriate, following full consultation with local communities, but other technologies should be harnessed too."
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:
"We need an environmentally sustainable economy that serves the interests of working people and not the domestic and global elite. The EU’s targets are a start, but the capitalist system prevents the type of planning & efficient use of resources necessary to seriously tackle climate change."
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:
"The Workers’ Party believes that an effective whip system maintains the transparency in politics by ensuring that elected representatives are kept to the promises that they make in election time."
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:
"The Workers’ Party has a long and proud track record of fighting for the democratisation of state and society, both north and south. We work for genuine democratisation and support the demand that government and political institutions must become more responsive to the people."
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:
"We recognise that crime, and its relationship to poverty, is a class issue and that the justice system is inherently biased against those from the working class. We also recognise that some people should be imprisoned. Rather than adapt a one size fits all policy, there should be flexibility."
22 of 22 questions