Workers' Party General Election candidate in Waterford, Councillor John Halligan, has voiced concern about the need for equality of opportunity for all people in
Cllr. Halligan said: "In these days of the Celtic Tiger, where our economy has been growing and developing, it is more important than ever to be careful that we do not end up in a situation where the rich get richer, and the poor continue to get poorer.
"I believe that everyone in our country should have access to the same opportunities to change their future and meet their own potential. The sad fact is that inequality can be self-perpetuating, so it becomes more and more difficult to work your way out of poverty or have the opportunities to change your life."
Irish society remains marked with considerable inequalities, says Councillor Halligan. "Whether it is through education, pay, healthcare, or mortality rates, a lack of opportunity can have a devastating effect on people's lives."
"I believe the current Government has not done enough in the past 10 years to address the staggering inequalities which are inherent in Irish society. It is criminal that the State as a whole is richer than could ever have been imagined yet there are thousands of families without homes on housing waiting lists. I don't believe that this Government has its priorities in the right order.
"This is just another case of the Government breaking the promises made before they were elected," added Councillor Halligan. "In their election manifesto back in 2002, Fianna Fail promised to permanently end hospital waiting lists within two years and extend medical card eligibility. They have not come anywhere near meeting these promises in the last five years of their Government.
"Other Fianna Fail promises which have not been kept include reducing the pupil to teacher ratio in our schools, expanding social housing programmers, and increasing the number of civilians attached to the Garda. The Government has not substantially put into place open-access broadband on a national level, as the coverage and quality of access is still patchy, to say the least," continued Councillor Halligan.
He concluded, "I firmly believe that this is the chance for people in Ireland to vote with their feet, and to show the Government that their record while they have been in power during a boom time has simply not been good enough."