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Maureen O'Sullivan
Maureen O'Sullivan
Independent
Party 6


Incumbent :

Main message to voters:

Continuing the work of Tony Gregory, for social justice, fairness and equality. Highlighting and campaigning on issues such as housing, community and youth, mental health, development aid, animal welfare and prisoners.

Election history:

First elected in June 2009 in By-election following the death of Tony Gregory whom I worked with on behalf of cmmunities in Dublin Central for over 30 years. Re-elected in 2011 General Election

Priorities:

  1. Community services- housing, mental health, addiction
  2. Animal welfare- outlawing of cruel blood sports
  3. Transparency regarding corporation tax, tax justice and development aid

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:
"There also needs to be equality proofing of budgets whereby all budgetary decisions are equality proofed to ensure that the least well off are not overlooked. In the 31st Dail I introduced a Private Members Motion calling for Human Rights Based Budgets to address this disconnect. "
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:
"Low and middl incomefamilies have been decimated by austerity measures disproportionately due to regressive budgets. The ideal that those who have more to spare pay more in my opinion is fair and will counter the current wealth gap in Irish 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 feel it would cost more to abolish irish water but absolutely no doubt there is need for reform. this water tax was that step too far for people"
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:
"those who cant pay should not pay "
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:
"Women have the right to travel for a termination but that is unfair for those of limited means so reform is very necessary. I agree with women being able to have terminations in Ireland but within certain time limits."
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:
"There is a need for another referendum - a different population who have not had the opportunity to vote on this matter. I was a member of the Constitutional Convention and I think similar could be a start - need to get the age balance right. "
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:
"We must stop the fixation with a minimum wage and start discussing a living wage, too many people who work long and hard hours have no means to live in dignity after they are paid "
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:
"I do not agree with zero hour contracts, and if someone is on a permanent contract that must be respectedwith proper designated hours and working conditions."
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:
"We have a housing crisis, we have 1600 plus children sleeping in emergency accomodation, we have young professional couples with no hope of ever attaining a mortgage- measures are needed to stop the landlord market which some landlords are abusing, rent freezes are welcome but rent controls are what is needed and what works efficiently in other EU countries and citys. "
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:
"Property tax is a progressive tax, however, some problems are in place such as the lack of conditions for thosein mortgage arears, those who saved to buy their local authority house and those who paid considerable stamp duty only to have their income severely cut "
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:
"traveller accomodation should be built with the interests and needs of travellers as the main aim. "
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:
"In an ideal world we would have free health care but we live in an unequal world. It does not make sense to me to promote free health care for a system that cannot cope with people who are ill"
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:
"Those who need subsidising for child care should be helped; but we must put resources into ensuring quality child care."
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
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:
"Ideally education should be free, no private education, and religious education outside the school but we do have a demand for schools with a particular ethos. "
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:
"Many countries opened their doors to Irish emigrants in the past and our dispora managed to shape their histories, I think that refugees who are fleeing not by choice but by circumstance should be welcomed in reasonable numbers."
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:
"I think that Europe has been a positive but I feel it is moving towards a federal system that I do not support as an independent state should have overall authority over their own destiny. "
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 are too reliant on important fossil fuels, in the 31st Dail i have called for more usage of renewable sources of energy, we have wind and coast abundance, we should utilise them to the fullest. But communities have to be involved and their concerns addressed."
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:
"Yes I support the 2020 emissions targets. "
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 find it astonishing in the Dail that party member TDs can speak supportive of a bill or a motion and then vote against what they are on record as saying. Being an independent means I can vote without the draconian shackles of party whips. "
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 have been supportive of the 1yi initiative."
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:
"There is no coinsidence that we have extremely high re-offending rates, and breaches of bail conditions. Locking someone away does not solve the problem, rehabilitation and education and stoping social deprivation should be prioritised as this will solve the problem more so than increased sentences and prison time. Also more restorative justice measures and community courts."
22 of 22 questions