Thursday 23 February 2017

Main promises of Fine Gael manifesto

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Simon Coveny, speaking at the launch of Fine Gael's General Election Manifesto. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Simon Coveny, speaking at the launch of Fine Gael's General Election Manifesto. Photo: Caroline Quinn

A look at the Fine Gael manifesto

Economy

  • Abolish the USC by 2021 and introduce a 5pc tax on income over €100,000.
  • Lower entry point for employees’ PRSI by €5,000 to €13,000.
  • Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed by €1,650.
  • Increase the threshold for inheritance tax on the transfer of the family home from €280,000 to €500,000.
  • Hold another ‘The Gathering’ in 2019 to boost tourism.

Health

  • Ensure 93pc of patients are dealt with in A&Es within six hours.
  • Add 4,400 frontline service staff by 2021, including 600 hospital consultants, doctors and dentists, and 2,800 nurses.
  • Reduce the maximum annual cost of medicines from €1,728 to €950.
  • Introduce a sugar tax which will add 10 cents to a can of mineral.
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship of events targeted at children and introduce minimum unit pricing.

Housing

  • End the need for rough sleeping
  • Increase the output of new housings to 25,000 a year by 2021.
  • Establish a code of conduct for switching mortgage provider.
  • Amend planning laws to encourage the construction of more student accommodation.
  • Introduce a new scheme to help people in mortgage arrears to access independent expert financial and legal advice.

Social Welfare/Jobs

  • €27 and €12 per week increases in Job Seekers’ Benefit for the first three and six months respectively.
  • An extra eight weeks’ paid leave entitlement to be available.
  • Increase the State pension by at least €25 by 2021.
  • Increase the minimum wage to €10.50 per hour.
  • Review the compulsory retirement age.

Education

  • Fine Gael will not close any school against the wishes of parents.
  • Hire 852 teachers and reduce pupil-teacher ratio for junior and senior infants from 28:1 to 18:1.
  • Introduce in-school speech and language therapy service.
  • Pilot new subjects like computer science and make PE a leaving cert subject.
  • Increase the mandatory schooling age to 17.

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