Having created over 100 local jobs in An Cosán, Fledglings and the Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative Katherine firmly believes that community services and small businesses are the backbone of our local economy.
Two-thirds of people work in small firms and not multinationals and their role is key in reducing our local unemployment rate which is above the national average. A vibrant economy must benefit everyone. The tax burden on low and middle income earners must be cut including further reductions in the USC. Priority must also be given to reversing the cuts and austerity which impacted on those who are the most vulnerable in our communities.
All policies must ensure that employment delivers real financial benefits for all households. Failure to address these inequalities will be a barrier to a stable economy.
Katherine recognises the severe difficulties facing many households and wants the government to declare the housing crisis as a national emergency.
A number of steps must be taken. Katherine has published a bill that would ensure greater protections for tenants and more favourable tax treatment for landlords who opt-in. She also proposes an innovative community-based model for an immediate way to house those who are homeless or seeking refuge in Ireland.
Katherine believes the problems of the housing market cannot be solved in the private rented sector alone. The ultimate solution is to build more homes, private and social.
She also believes measures to tackle the mortgage arrears crisis must be delivered without delay. The banks must act according to the Central Bank’s code of conduct so that the unfair power disparity between the lender and the troubled borrower is removed.
The next Government must put the public ownership of our water services to the Irish people through a referendum. As a strong independent voice for the concerns of local people Katherine voted against the water bill and the civil debt bill which allows non-payment to be pursued through the courts.
Katherine has called for a public water authority to ensure a modern, fair and sustainable water supply. She has proposed fair policies ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay should not have to live in fear of their taps being cut off.
Conservation of one of our most precious resources must be achieved through an efficient water system but the way Irish Water was set up has failed to deliver any environmental goals.