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James Geoghegan
James Geoghegan
Fine Gael
Party 1


Incumbent : No

Main message to voters:

I want to represent your interests in the Dail and retain a Fine Gael voice for this constituency. If elected I will prioritise: Greater investment in childcare, education and our work environment; Making Dublin a 15-minute city; Building more affordable homes Re-opening our economy and society

Election history:

I was elected to Dublin City Council in the Pembroke LEA in 2019. I am the Fine Gael member on the Finance Committee, the Budget Committee, the Strategic Housing Policy Committee and the Special Committee on Homelessness

Priorities:

  1. Other Make Dublin a 15-minute city. Where local schools, businesses and community services are all within a 15 min walk/cycle of your home.
  2. Housing Support state subsidised models of delivery of housing which increase supply of low rent homes & affordable purchase homes
  3. Covid-19 Re-open our country, smart investment in childcare, education and our work environment will get us back up on our feet.

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:
"Our Rebuilding Ireland plan has helped almost 25,000 people buy their first home through the Help to Buy Scheme. Through our expanded Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, we have helped more than 3,800 credit-worthy people buy a home who could not secure mortgage finance from high street banks. "

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:
"This year we will spend the largest amount ever allocated to housing with over €3.3 billion. We will deliver homes through the Land Development Agency, 150,000 of them. We increased housing from 5,000 in 2016 to 20,000 last year and were on target to reach 30,000 this year before the pandemic hit."

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:
"It is highly likely that a blanket ban on rent increases for a significant duration would be the subject of a legal challenge and could deter continued investment in the rental accommodation market. But we’re protecting people whose incomes have been hit by the pandemic and reforming the RPZs."

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:
"Institutional investors are still needed to ensure that apartments will continue to be built. Without this finance, most apartment blocks simply would not be built, cutting supply, causing even higher prices, rents, and overcrowding."

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

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:
"We should not raise taxes in the aftermath of the pandemic. Leo Varadkar has already committed to no cuts to public sector pay or increase in income tax for at least the first few years after the pandemic and I believe that's the right thing to do. This government is committed to supporting people."

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:
"I think Ireland already has one of the highest income tax levels internationally. I think raising taxes further would be a major disincentive when competing for remote workers in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Tánaiste has already committed to not raising income taxes after the pandemic. "

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:
"I believe that Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate must be protected at all cost. Any forced change to our rate could have a massive negative impact on multinational companies located here and could trigger a migration of activity. However, we must ensure there are no loopholes in paying tax."

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 big changes that the Government has made on local property tax is that all of the money that is generated from the local property tax will go back into Dublin city. That's something I strongly support to ensure that our communities are properly funded in providing local services."

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:
"This system of mandatory hotel quarantine is necessary to prevent and mitigate the risk of spread of Covid-19, particularly variants of concern. MHQ is an important part of our public health measures to combat and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and variants of concern. "

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:
"The public health measures that have been introduced, on a temporary basis, are grounded in the expertise of, among others, the NPHET. I acknowledge the impact Covid-19 restrictions are having on people, but the restrictions are keeping people safe and reducing the spread of Covid-19. "

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:
"The PUP was originally brought in as an emergency measure designed for 12 weeks. It has now been going for nearly 16 months and will be two years when it comes to an end. It was an unprecedented level of support that was badly needed but as we reopen hopefully more people can get back to 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 acknowledge the impact Covid-19 restrictions are having on people, but the restrictions are keeping people safe and reducing the spread of Covid. If we rush the reopening we may be in a situation where businesses have to close again. We have to listen to the Public Health advice provided by NPHET."

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

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
Comment:
"With government support, Dublin City Council is providing more cycle lanes than ever before. We need to ensure that cycling is a safe option for as many people as possible. Other programmes like Safe Routes to School and projects like the Dodder Greenway will help make Dublin a 15-minute city. "

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:
"Smarter use of city centre streets can have a highly positive impact on residents and visitors alike. As a councillor I advocated for the use of key streets - such as Merrion Row - for outdoor dining as a way of helping our local businesses and making the city more attractive to visit. "

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:
"Across Dublin City the vast majority of residential streets are already 30km/h. This makes sense for residential areas and in key areas, such as outside schools. It's important, however, that residents continue to be able to navigate the city which means slightly higher limits on major routes. "

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

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:
"The BusConnects plan is fundamental to the Government’s policy to improve public transport and address climate change in our cities. I will work very closely with residents in Terenure and Rathgar to ensure that their concerns in relation to BusConnects are not just heard but are acted upon. "

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:
"As per the PFG our approach is to increase the carbon tax to 100 euro per tonne by 2030, informed by the findings of an ESRI study, to be published by October 2020 on how best to prevent fuel poverty. This increase is to be achieved by an annual increase of €7.50 per annum to 2029 and €6.50 in 2030."

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:
"The Climate Action Bill builds on the Climate Action Plan launched by Fine Gael in 2019. It states that the first two carbon budgets should provide a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and a commitment to achieve a climate neutral economy by no later than 2050."

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:
"Irish Water is already upgrading the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, providing the extra capacity to enable our communities to grow and prosper and to protect the quality of the water in Dublin Bay. "

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 would like to see a united Ireland and in the PFG we are committed to working with all communities and traditions on the island to build consensus around a shared future. This consensus will be underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement and by the absolute respect for the principle of consent."

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:
"Unification must not be the annexation of Northern Ireland. It means something more, a new state designed together, a new constitution and one that reflects the diversity of a bi-national or multi-national state in which almost a million people are British."

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:
"Unification must not be the annexation of Northern Ireland. It means something more, a new state designed together, a new constitution and one that reflects the diversity of a bi-national or multi-national state in which almost a million people are British."

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:
"European integration is the cornerstone of success of the European Union. We must always stand up for these values especially due to events of the past few years including Brexit and the polarization of US politics with the election of Donald Trump."

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:
"The Government does not support boycotts on Israel. Such sanctions would be ineffective and, more importantly, counterproductive. Talk around boycotts and sanctions at this stage, however, isolates Ireland rather than puts us in the middle of an influential discussion to bring about change."

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:
"Gardai, public transport operators and Government must come together to ensure this recent uptick in anti-social behaviour does not become a trend. I welcome the introduction of the Government’s Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027, particularly its focus on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour."

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:
"Ireland repealed the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution so that women can legally access abortion care in their own country. We must ensure there are no restrictions put in place for any women looking to avail of abortion services in this country."

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:
"Students of all religions and none should have access to education, regardless of their belief system. The Government will continue to expand the plurality of our schools to reflect the full breadth of society."

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:
"Citizenship Ceremonies commenced in June 2011 under a Fine Gael government to welcome our newest citizens of Ireland and to celebrate the diversity of culture. Over 145 ceremonies have been held since then, and over 130,000 people have received Irish citizenship since 2011. "