Fianna Fáil says it will reduce childcare costs with increased subsidies. It says it will invest an additional €81m to increase the universal childcare subsidy from €20 per week to €80 per week. It says it will consider introducing fee caps for childcare services if costs to parents are not reduced. Fianna Fáil says, in government, it will introduce a tax credit for registered childminders of 0-3-year olds worth €2,000 for average income households at a cost of €26m. It says it will expand the ECCE scheme from 38 to 40 weeks at a cost of €17.2m. The party, in government, will double the Child Benefit Payment for the first month on the birth of a first child.
2) Fairer Tax
Fianna Fáil says it will introduce a 4:1 spending to taxation policy ratio to ensure that for every euro in tax reduction from available financial resources at least four will be invested in services. It says it will increase the Rainy Day Fund by €250 million. It will reduce the Universal Social Charge rate from 4.5% to 3.5%. It says it will increase the standard rate income tax band by €3,000 for a single person and €6,000 for a couple. The party says, in government, it will increase the Home Carer’s Tax Credit to €2,000, and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to €1,650 equalising it with the PAYE Tax Credit. Fianna Fáil says it will reduce Capital Gains Tax to 25%.
Fianna Fáil says, in government, it will build 50,000 affordable homes for purchase at below €250,000. It will reduce development levies to help deliver 200,000 new homes by 2025. It says it will slash Local Authority ‘red tape’ and directly build 50,000 social homes. It will introduce a First-Time Buyer’s 33% top up SSIA and retain and expand the Help to Buy scheme. The party will introduce a €600 Rent Tax Credit and a life time rent deposit scheme. Fianna Fáil says it will establish a new €168m “Preventing Homelessness” fighting fund.
Fianna Fáil says it will increase the lifetime limit of Entrepreneurial Relief to €15m. It says it will increase the annual current EIIS ceiling to €1m as an initial policy measure. The party says it will introduce a pre-approval mechanism for the R&D tax credit specifically designed for micro and small businesses. Fianna Fáil says, in government, it will setup a SME Growth Taskforce including all stakeholders to design a National SME Masterplan that will map out an ambitious long-term strategic blueprint to 2030 for the sector.
Fianna Fáil says it will increase bed capacity and aim for four-hour target wait for Emergency Departments. It says it will ensure there is an emergency medicine consultant present in EDs on a 24-hour basis. The party will provide an additional 20 emergency ambulances and 200 extra staff. It will negotiate a new contract with consultants that will encompass addressing pay equality for post-2012 entrants as part of a new public sector pay agreement. It says it will recruit 1,000 extra consultants over five years at a cost of €223m, and 4,000 more nurses over the next five years. Fianna Fáil says it will double the National Treatment Purchase Fund to €200m, and reduce the monthly Drug Payment Scheme threshold to €100 per month. It says, in government, it will fund a special €10 top-up payment for all Carer and Disability Benefits. It will abolish prescription charges, and lower treatment and Emergency Department waiting times.
6) Climate change
Fianna Fáil, in government, says it will establish a National Infrastructure Commission for 30-year decarbonisation planning. It says it will create a new Biodiversity Fund to protect species. The party says it will set up a new open Anti-Litter Fund to tackle illegal dumping and dog fouling.
Fianna Fáil says it will increase Garda numbers to 16,000 and the Garda reserve to 2,500. It promises to “smash gangland crime” with new special anti-terror laws, and introduce mandatory sentences on knife crime attacks. If in government, the party says it will tackle antisocial behaviour with new laws including eviction powers. It says it will establish a Rural Crime Bureau as a new special crimes unit.
8) Older People
Fianna Fáil says it will increase the State Pension by €5 a week, every year. It will establish a commission to examine the state pension age, and defer any further pension age increase pending its completion. It says it will pay a state transition pension in the interim for 65 and 66 year olds. The party says, in government, it will expand Housing Adaptation grants, home help hours and homecare packages. Fianna Fáil says it will invest in Dementia Advisors and workers to help older people remain in their own home. It will also protect the Free Travel Scheme.
Fianna Fáil says it will top up payments to people with disabilities by €10 to recognise the unique costs they have to pay. It says it will increase personal assistance hours by 1.5m, and boost funding for Housing Adaptation grants by €20m. It says it will remove the restriction on the maximum amount of time (currently 7 years) that a person with a disability can spend on a CE scheme. The party says it will extend the Free Travel Scheme to children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance at an estimated full year cost of €5m.
Fianna Fáil says it will reduce the average primary school class size to 20:1 by 2025. It says it will reduce the DEIS band one pupil teacher ratio to 18:1. The party says it will return posts back to their 2011/2012 levels at a cost of €2.6m. Fianna Fáil says it will establish a new Department of Higher Education & Research, and provide an additional €100m per year for Higher Education Funding. It says it will freeze student fees and increase the maintenance grant by 20%. It says it will deliver the full restoration of History.