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Ivana Bacik
Ivana Bacik
Labour
Party 3


Incumbent : No

Main message to voters:

As we emerge from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to hope for change. I have long campaigned for a fairer, safer, more tolerant Dublin; and a more equal, progressive Ireland. Now I am campaigning for the opportunity to continue that work through representing our community in Dublin Bay South.

Election history:

I was first elected to serve in Seanad Éireann in 2007 and have been honoured to be returned in each Seanad Election since then. It is an honour to have been nominated to run in my home constituency of Dublin Bay South. I grew up in the Terenure/Rathgar area and live in Portobello with my family.

Priorities:

  1. Housing
  2. Environment

Candidate positions on the election issues:

Housing

Providing financial supports for first-time buyers is an important part of the solution to the housing crisis in the short term.

Measures such as the proposed ‘shared equity’ scheme and the ‘help-to-buy’ tax relief are aimed at helping first-time buyers to purchase a property. Critics say they contribute to the problem by driving up prices, while supporters say that they enable people who would not otherwise afford it to buy a home.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Providing financial supports to one section of the population locked out of the housing market pushes up prices. The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme in the UK demonstrated that it inflates house prices. Instead we must end speculation in development land and renew the commitment to publicly funded housing."

The state should borrow heavily to invest in house building

Some (including the Fiscal Advisory Council) argue that current levels of debt are already too high, and additional borrowing should be limited. Others (including the ESRI) argue that now is a good time for the government to borrow heavily to invest in a large-scale house building programme.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The key to fixing our housing crisis is publicly-led investment in homes that are affordable. Affordability should be linked to a person’s or family’s income, not a percentage of what developers think they can squeeze out of an inflated market."

A rent freeze should be introduced in Dublin

Currently, rent increases are limited to 4% in ‘rent pressure zones’. A temporary ban exists on rent increases for people whose incomes were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some argue that a blanket rent freeze would drive landlords out of the sector, or that it might be unconstitutional. Others say it is needed to address the very high cost of renting in Dublin.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We need a 3-year rent freeze. Tenants face in some cases an 8% rent hike, while inflation is running at 1.1%, wages. By investing in housing, the State can take a central role in the provision of affordable rental properties. In the short-term, the need for a rent freeze is undeniable."

Investment funds should be prevented from bulk-buying apartments

The government recently introduced measures to discourage bulk-buying of houses by international investment funds. However, apartments are currently not covered by these measures. Some argue that apartments would not be built without these investors, while others say that bulk-buying of apartments locks individuals out of the property market.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The bulk buying of housing estates and apartment complexes favours investment funds, not people who need secure, affordable homes. Government should encourage the use of regulated, effective not-for-profit housing associations to ensure the development of mixed communities, not gated enclosures."

More accommodation for Travellers should be built in this constituency

The government makes funding available for local authorities to build Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes). Some local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition. Representatives of the Travelling community argue that more accommodation is needed.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"For years, the relatively modest allocation for Traveller housing has been underspent by local authorities. Public and affordable housing can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Appropriate Traveller housing development on feasible sites should be considered and supported. "

Tax & spending

In the wake of the pandemic, most people should have to pay more tax

Compared to other EU countries, the overall tax burden for most people is relatively low. Some argue that, particularly in light of the high level of borrowing during the pandemic and the need for additional spending in areas such as health and housing, taxes should be raised or new taxes introduced. Others disagree and think that most people already pay enough.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Working people should not be required to pay more due to the pandemic. I support growth-friendly tax increases targeted at wealth and assets, and the removal of inefficient, wasteful tax breaks. Those with the most wealth should help fund measures to protect all workers, families and communities. "

Should taxes on high earners be increased or decreased?

Earnings above €35,300 (for a single person) or €44,300 (for a married couple) are taxed at 40%. The Universal Social Charge is 8% on earnings over €70,000. Some argue that high earners are taxed too much, which makes it difficult for companies to attract talent. Others argue that high earners (e.g. annual incomes over 100k) should pay more to fund better public services.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion
Comment:
"We should look at scope to raise tax on non-residential property & shares. We must also progressively withdraw Income Tax credits on those with incomes over €100K. Loopholes that very wealthy individuals can access must be closed so that there's a minimum effective rate of tax paid, not just levied."

Ireland should increase its corporate tax rate to bring it in line with other countries

Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5%, which is low by international standards. This is one feature that makes Ireland an attractive location for multinational companies, which are a major contributor to the Irish economy; it has also led to accusations of Ireland being a ‘tax haven’. The US and many European countries support a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"At the very least, until a new global deal is struck, for companies operating in Ireland, I want a minimum effective tax rate of 12.5% (i.e. that is what they should pay on their profits). Ireland should establish a dedicated standing commission on taxation to ensure our system is sustainable &fair."

The Local Property Tax is needed to fund local services

The LPT is a tax that homeowners must pay, based on the value of their property. The LPT currently makes up around 8% of the total revenue for local councils and is used to fund local services. Some claim it is unfair to have a tax on the family home, while others argue that this is a significant component of people’s wealth and so should be taxed.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"One of the main lessons from the economic collapse of a decade ago is that the tax base must be broad to prevent a calamitous decline in revenue. Ireland still focuses tax collection on work (i.e. income tax). Taxing other sources of wealth, such as property is right and proportionate."

Covid-19

What is your view of the mandatory hotel quarantine system?

Currently, anyone coming to Ireland from countries designated as high-risk are required to quarantine in a hotel for 11 days or more (depending on test results) at their own expense. Ireland is the only EU country with such a system. Some believe that the system should be extended to everyone coming into the country, while others believe that it is an unnecessary infringement on individuals’ rights.
It is excessive
It is appropriate
It does not go far enough
No opinion
Comment:
"Noting the large burden that this measure places on people, It is important that we have a mechanism to limit the spread of new variants. We have recently seen in the UK that a failure to act has allowed the growth of the so-called ‘Delta’ variant and that has postponed the opening up in England. "

Covid-19 emergency powers should be ended immediately

During the pandemic, legislation was passed to give the Minister for Health the power to make regulations such as restricting travel, stopping public gatherings, and closing premises. The Gardaí were given additional powers to fine and arrest people for breaching Covid-19 regulations. These powers are currently due to be in place until November, but some argue they should be ended sooner.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Throughout the pandemic, I have called for regular reviews of emergency powers brought in to manage the public health crisis. Even during periods of emergency, and indeed especially so, the need for careful and proportionate legislating and policing is required. "

Pandemic unemployment payments should be reduced in the coming months

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is a social welfare payment for people who were prevented from working due to Covid-19 rules, with rates varying from €203 to €350 per week. Some argue that it the PUP is acting as a disincentive to get back to work and should be wound down, while others argue that the scheme should be extended until all Covid-related restrictions end. Under current plans, rates will be reduced from September and the scheme will end in February.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I do not think that the rate should be reduced as long as the pandemic exists and forces people to remain without work. "

How do you feel about the pace of reopening?

From the 5th of July, restrictions are as follows: house visits are limited to people from 3 other households; indoor events (including weddings) are limited to 50 people; most outdoor events are limited to 200 people; public transport is limited to 50% capacity. Indoor dining and drinking is not permitted, except for overnight guests at hotels. Fines for non-essential international travel are in place until 18th July.
Too fast
About right
Too slow
No opinion
Comment:
" I think our current plans are largely correct, but feel strongly that vigilance is required. Our plans must be responsive and flexible. "

Transport

Congestion charges should be introduced in Dublin

Congestion charges are charges on vehicles entering a city at busy times. They are currently under consideration for Dublin. Opponents say they put an unfair economic burden on people who have to drive to the city, while supporters say that they contribute to cutting emissions and make cities more liveable.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"When affordable & accessible alternatives to car travel exist, it will be easier to adopt punitive measures for those who use their vehicles to excess. I would prefer to see an expansion of the Free Travel scheme and the introduction of initiatives such as a Bike to School scheme for schoolchildren."

Too many cycle lanes are being built in Dublin

A number of new cycle lanes have been rolled out across Dublin recently, and more have been planned. While this is a welcome development for the growing number of cyclists in Dublin, it will also mean fewer traffic lanes for cars and less space for on-street parking.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion

More Dublin streets should be pedestrianised

A number of streets in Dublin city centre have been pedestrianised recently. Some argue that pedestrianisation has gone far enough and motorists must be catered for, while others argue that it should be extended further to facilitate more outdoor dining and to improve the experience for pedestrians.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I strongly support increased pedestrianisation. Ours is a city of villages, and pedestrianisation can be the key to making those local economies and communities more accessible to people. "

Speed limits of 30km/h should be introduced across most parts of Dublin

Dublin City Council proposed reducing the speed limits on many roads from 50km to 30 km/h, but the proposal is currently on hold due to local opposition. Opponents say it will slow traffic too much, while supporters say it will improve road safety.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"This is a matter for local authorities, but I agree that in many areas of Dublin City, reduced speed limits can help to keep children, pedestrians and cyclists safe. "

The proposed MetroLink from Swords to Charlemont should go ahead as planned

MetroLink is a planned high frequency rail line from Swords to Charlemont (near Ranelagh), via Dublin Airport. It would run mostly underground. Some people oppose the current plans because of the disruption it will cause, and some advocate alternative routes. Supporters say there have been enough delays and want to see the planned project implemented as soon as possible.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I support the Metrolink project and believe that the current phase of Metrolink (northern alignment) should terminate no further south than Stephen’s Green. Pending resolution of the project/consideration of different options for further extension, this seems to me the most sensible approach."

The proposed BusConnects plan should go ahead

BusConnects is a planned overhaul of the bus network in Dublin, involving new orbital and spine routes that avoid going through the city centre. Opponents of the plan cite the loss of direct routes and the need to change buses more often on your journey, along with the disruption and loss of trees that implementing the plan will involve. Supporters point to the increased capacity and bus frequency and the easing of congestion in the city centre.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Once the current review of the BusConnects routes has completed, I will be in a position to indicate which I support. The need is very clear for stronger public transport infrastructure; for climate action, accessibility and to make our roads less congested. "

Environment

Carbon taxes should continue to increase each year

Carbon tax is a tax on fossil fuels such as oil, coal, petrol, diesel, and gas. It recently increased from €26 to €33.50 per tonne of CO2, with further increases planned every year until 2030. Critics argue that carbon tax disproportionally impacts those on low incomes, while supporters say it is necessary to effect behaviour change and so reduce emissions.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I support the carbon tax but do not think it should rise each year. Environmental taxes can play an important role in changing behaviour – look at the plastic bag levy. However, taxation should follow the polluter and working families are should not be subject to increasing carbon taxation. "

Do current commitments to halve emissions by 2030 go too far or not far enough?

The recent Climate Bill commits the government to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2030, and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This is to involve carbon budgets every five years. Some argue that these targets are not ambitious enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, while others argue they go too far and will entail too much economic damage to certain sectors.
Go too far
About right
Don't go far enough
No opinion
Comment:
"I introduced the first Irish legislation proposing emissions targets in 2007 and am very supportive of current legislation in the Oireachtas. More is needed, specifically in the areas of Climate Justice; Just Transition; fracking; data centres; urban tree planting; & bans on off-shore exploration."

A new sewage treatment plant should be built to address pollution in Dublin Bay, even if it is in this constituency

The Ringsend sewage treatment plant is operating beyond capacity, and there are regular overflows of untreated wastewater into Dublin Bay. Efforts to build a new treatment plant have met with local objections. Planning permission for a new treatment plant near Dublin airport was overturned and is currently undergoing judicial review.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Public health & amenity must be core to any decision taken on a new sewage treatment plant. What is most important is ensuring that public health is maintained. Construction and development of any new projects on the Bay must be undertaken in consultation with the local community. "

Irish unity

A referendum on Irish unity should be held during the next five years

The Good Friday Agreement allows for the possibility of a referendum (‘border poll’) in Northern Ireland and in the Republic on the question of a united Ireland, if there is evidence that unification is desired by a majority. Some believe that a border poll would be premature and divisive at this time, while others argue that, in light of Brexit and the changing demographics in Northern Ireland, a border poll should be held soon.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I'm in favour of a united Ireland, with a single government. This could have a transformative impact on, not the debates of the past century, but the challenges of the next (e.g. climate, transport, education). I don’t believe that having a set timeframe is the priority in the debate at this stage."

The reunification of Ireland would create more problems than it would solve

Some people believe that the division of Ireland is inherently wrong and that reunification is the only satisfactory long-term solution. Others are opposed to reunification on the grounds that it might increase the risk of conflict or because they believe it would be too expensive for the Irish state.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I believe in a united Ireland; a unitary government on this island makes sense and I support that goal. However, that future political entity can’t be viewed as traditional nationalism ‘winning’ with unionism relegated to the pages of history. A unitary state must accommodate both traditions. "

EU & international

Ireland should cooperate with other EU member states on defence

Ireland is a member of the PESCO framework, which seeks to increase cooperation between EU member states on defence. It commits members to work together on military planning and to increase defence spending. Some oppose it because they see it as a step in the direction of an EU army. Others say cooperation is necessary so that the EU can defend itself without having to rely on the US.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Ireland must not participate as an aggressor, but should have a well paid, well resourced Defence Forces to protect our State and to continue our proud legacy of leadership and participation in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. "

European integration has gone far enough

Some people argue that that further European integration is necessary to tackle shared challenges and for economic stability. Others argue that further integration would undermine national sovereignty and should be opposed.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The European Union must be more generous in its approach to migration, and to those seeking asylum in particular. As a peace project, it must recognise the inherent violence of preventing those with nowhere else to go from entering the EU – it is an inalienable human right to seek asylum."

Ireland should boycott Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories

The ‘Occupied Territories’ bill would make it an offence to import or sell goods and services originating in an occupied territory. Critics of the bill say it discriminates unfairly against Israel, and that it may undermine important economic and diplomatic links with the US and Israel. Those in favour argue that it will show solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"I have long been an advocate of the BDS campaign and have led for my Party in the Seanad in support of Senator Frances Black’s important Occupied Territories Bill."

Anti-social behaviour

Gardaí should be given more powers to tackle anti-social behaviour

Currently, Gardaí have certain powers to tackle anti-social behaviour by teenagers and adults, including applying to the courts for an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) for repeat offenders. Some argue these measures do not go far enough and new powers (such as powers to disperse groups) should be introduced. Others disagree and say that the solution lies in more engagement rather than enforcement.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Laws currently in place are sufficient to tackle anti-social behaviour. It is well documented that high quality amenities and positive anti-social initiatives are more potent solutions to the issue of anti-social behaviour than heavy-handed policing."

Abortion

Should access to abortion be made more restrictive or less restrictive?

Currently, terminations are permitted for any reason up to 12 weeks in a pregnancy. Terminations are only permitted after this date if there is a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman or if there is a fatal foetal anomaly. Some argue that this system is too liberal and should be made more restrictive, while others believe it that abortion should be permitted in a wider range of circumstances.
More restrictive
Stay the same
Less restrictive
No opinion
Comment:
"I began my career being threatened with jail for circulating information on abortion. Reproductive healthcare must free, safe, legal and local. I support an end to the arbitrary 3-day wait period for those who decide to end a pregnancy and advocate exclusion zones outside maternity hospitals."

School patronage

The Church has too much control over Irish schools

Around 90% of primary schools and just under half of secondary schools are under the patronage of the Catholic Church. Some argue that the Church provides invaluable services in education, while others say that a Catholic ethos is being imposed against people’s wishes.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"90% of Irish primary schools are under the patronage of a church or religious order. Having set up an Educate Together multi-denominational school nearby to my own home area, I am very conscious of the need to ensure true separation of church and state in our education system."

Immigration

Should immigration into Ireland be made more restrictive or less restrictive?

Non-Irish nationals make up around 13% of the population, most of whom came from the UK or the EU under free movement rules. Work permits are issued to people coming from other countries only with a job offer in certain occupations, and the job must pay over €30,000 per year. Some believe that immigration is too high, putting pressure on services; while others argue that more immigration is needed to tackle job shortages and is positive for the country.
More restrictive
Stay the same
Less restrictive
No opinion
Comment:
"Ireland benefits from immigration and politicians should be courageous in recognising that. This year, following debate on my Naturalisation of Minors Born in Ireland Bill, Government agreed to make applying for Irish citizenship more accessible for children born in Ireland to non-national parents."