Fine Gael’s 5 point plan
1. JOBS: Protecting and Creating jobs
Job losses are destroying families and crippling the economy. A new Government must protect existing jobs and create new jobs as we close the budget gap and give people back their dignity. To realistically plan for job creation in the future, Fine Gael will invest in new energy, water and telecoms infrastructure and generate thousands of new jobs.
Over the next four years, Fine Gael’s Growth and Jobs Strategy will add on average 20,000 jobs each year.
We intend to cut employers’ PRSI and change the welfare system to encourage job creation. We will abolish the airport departure tax. And we will invest an extra €7bn over the next 4 years to build essential new infrastructure in broadband, green energy and water networks.
To find out more read Fine Gael’s ‘Working for Our Future‘ document.
2. BUDGET: Fix the deficit
Fine Gael will fix Ireland’s budget deficit by prioritising cutting waste over raising tax. This way jobs are protected while discretionary public spending is reduced. Cutting waste will form the biggest portion of the fix and income tax will not be increased.
Unlike the other parties, Fine Gael will take on the big vested interests that have contributed to the current crisis – the bankers, the bondholders, the developers and the unions. And we will aggressively cut the waste in our public service to keep all taxes as low as possible.
To find out more read Fine Gaels budget strategy document ‘Credit where Credit is Due‘.
3. HEALTH: A new system to get health working again.
Our Health system costs close to €20bn every year. It’s money spent on a system that doesn’t work for the people who need it most.
Fine Gael’s FairCare Health Strategy will eliminate long waiting lists, end the unfair public-private two-tier system and replace it with a universal health insurance system based on the renowned Dutch model. FairCare offers equal access to all. There will be a greater emphasis on diagnosis and treatment in the community with increased chronic illness care and more rehabilitation and convalescence facilities ensuring shorter hospital stays. Funding of hospitals will be radically overhauled where money follows the patient – so no patient means no payment for the hospital!
Fine Gael has published detailed plans on our FairCare Policy and will announce further details on this plan during the campaign.
4. PUBLIC SECTOR: Smaller, Better Government.
Our public sector is too large, too inefficient and too expensive. Fine Gael will improve the quality of public services by prioritising frontline services – that’s teachers, health professionals, Gardaí, Local Authority services etc, and will streamline systems, eliminate red tape and waste and managers will be accountable.
The outdated and inefficient annual budget system will be replaced with an open and transparent system to manage the nation’s finances.
Fine Gael’s Public Sector Strategy will reduce the cost of the Public Sector by 10% over the next four years. This will save €5bn by eliminating waste and abolishing 145 quangos. We estimate 30,000 administrative and bureaucratic positions can be eliminated by natural wastage, voluntary redundancy and relocation to create a better, more efficient and more customer focused public service.
5. NEW POLITICS: Politicians taking the lead
Fine Gael believe that politicians should lead the way in Ireland’s recovery.
Fine Gael’s Strategy for New Politics will reduce the number of politicians by 35% and have a referendum to abolish the Seanad. We would impose a ceiling on salaries for politicians and right across the public sector. We would also replace state cars for current and former officials with a car pool system. All these initiatives will save taxpayers millions every year.
As well as saving money, Fine Gael’s political reforms will make the whole political system better, more transparent and make politicians and other decision-makers more accountable to the public. A reformed Dáil that can truly challenge Government decisions, better local government and a Citizens’ Assembly will be established to address major issues like Electoral Reform and Constitutional change.