Government is 'smothering' health system red flags - FF
Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has accused the Government of "doctoring" the health service plan to make waiting lists appear shorter.
During a tour of Tipperary, Mr Martin said the management of the health service is in a mess and claimed the Coalition tried to smother warnings that 2016 will be the worst year on record for the health service.
"This means there will be more overcrowding in accident and emergency departments, waiting lists will get longer and something has to change," he said.
Mr Martin, pictured right with Fianna Fail Dublin Central candidate Mary Fitzpatrick during the party's election campaign launch last week, said that the Government has, by its own admission, failed regarding the health service.
When asked about Fianna Fail's plans for social housing he said: "The current Government completely lacked any commitment to public housing at a time when we desperately need it.
"The record shows that the issue of housing was in better shape when Fianna Fail was in government."
Sinn Fein yesterday launched its childcare plan, which Mary Lou McDonald claimed will see a cap on fees of €180 a week, dropping down to €150 over time.
"We would also introduce a six-week extension to maternity leave, eventually increasing parental leave to 52 weeks.
"We would also increase the rate of maternity benefit," she said.
Meanwhile, Renua Ireland has said there needs to be a culture of greater parental responsibility for the actions of children who consistently break the law.
They plan to introduce laws that will make it mandatory for parents of children to attend the hearings where their child faces charges.
Parents will also be required to pay the court costs of the proceedings if their children are found guilty.
"As part of any functioning culture of rights and responsibilities, parents should actively seek to be held responsible for the actions of their children.
"Sadly, when it comes to juvenile crime, too often parents attempt to hold the state responsible for their own failures," Renua leader Lucinda Creighton said.
People Before Profit focused its attention this weekend on college fees, claiming Fine Gael wants to force students into debt.
Cllr John Lyons, who is a candidate for Dublin Bay North, said: "It has been the policy of the Government to shift the cost of third-level education on to students.
"Fine Gael plans to introduce a student loan system if re-elected. Wherever third-level loans have been introduced, the result has been to saddle students with a pile of debt upon completion of their degree."
He added: "People Before Profit wants the abolition of all university fees. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege.
"We should end the attack on education and instead tax those who can afford to pay - the corporations and the rich".
Tanaiste Joan Burton spent yesterday in Athy, Co Kildare, where she launched the Labour Party's plan for the rural economy.
It includes a commitment to abolish school transport charges, free GP care for all and an increase in the number of gardai.
Labour also wants to produce a new regional growth strategy and invest €200m in areas of major employment-and population-growth potential.