Key pledges in Fianna Fail election manifesto

By David Young, PA

Fianna Fail’s manifesto for the 2020 Irish General Election is titled “An Ireland for All”.

The 150-page policy document includes pledges to:

– Invest two billion euro extra in health care, including the hiring of 1,000 more consultants and 4,000 nurses.

– Take more than 100,000 patients off waiting lists with a 100 million euro investment in the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

– Abolish prescription charges.

– Create a savings top-up scheme for first-time buyers, that will see the state provide an extra euro for every three euro saved towards a deposit, limited at a 10,000 euro maximum.

– Build 200,000 new homes – a target that includes 50,000 affordable homes (available for 250,000 euro or less) and 50,000 new social housing units.

– Legislation to prevent so-called “cuckoo funds” buying up entire housing estates as investments.

– Establish a commission to review the pension system in Ireland.

– Increase the state pension by five euro a week.

– Postpone the increase of the state pension age from 66 to 67 pending the outcome of the review.

– Transition pension payment for over-65s while they wait to become eligible for the state pension.

– Commission to review the tax system.

– Increase in the weekly childcare subsidy from 20 euro a week to 80 euro.

– Reduce capital gains tax rate from 33% to 25%.

– Reduce the 4.5% Universal Social Charge rate to 3.5%.

– Increase the standard rate income tax band by 3,000 euro for an individual and 6,000 euro for a couple.

– Increase the current annual contribution to the country’s “rainy day fund” from 500 million euro a year to 750 million euro.

– Increasing Garda numbers to 16,000.

– Set up a rural crime unit within the Garda.

– Establish a National Infrastructure Commission to manage a 30-year transition away from fossil fuel reliance.

– Establish a new independent gambling regulator.

– Establish a unit within the Department of the Taoiseach to lead a formal study and cross-community consultation to inform how the Government should handle a potential future unity referendum.