Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government ministers servants of the construction industry, not the people

17 August, 2006


Sinn Féin Environment spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has reacted with fury to reports in today's Irish Times that Minister Dick Roche vetoed a suggestion from the OPW to make the use of green cement mandatory in public building projects. Describing the Minister's explanations as "simply surreal" he went on to remind the Minister that, "Government Ministers are supposed to be servants of the people, not servants of the construction industry".

The Louth TD said: "The people elected Fianna Fáil and the PDs to run the country but it is increasingly clear that it is cabals of developers and building industry lobbyists who are writing the Government's policies. Government Ministers are supposed to be servants of the people, not servants of the construction industry.

"Minister Roche's claim that making the use of environmentally friendly cement mandatory would undermine voluntary attempts by industry to do so is so ludicrous as to be simply surreal. The goal of this worthy proposal from the Office of Public Works was to reduce the amount of energy used in producing cement. Considering the massive fine the Irish people face because of the Government's failure to achieve its Kyoto commitments, Minister Roche should have eagerly welcomed this initiative.

"Instead, as with Government policies on planning, and on social and affordable housing, the interests of the people were subverted by construction industry lobbyists twisting the Minister's arm. Perhaps at the next election we should just cut out the middle-men and have the Cement Manufacturers Association register itself as a political party." ENDS

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