Party Policy snapshots day 9
Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30
Fine Gael will introduce eight weeks of paternity leave within the next five years if returned to government.
The additional paternity leave, which can be taken by either parent, is among a suite of measures aimed at securing the votes of working parents.
Announcing the policy, Children's Minister James Reilly said a €2,000 annual subsidy for childcare will also be available to parents of all children between the ages of nine months and three years.
The party will also introduce free dental care for all children under six and set up after-school care facilities in school buildings.
Mr Reilly said the measures will be introduced to ensure parents can spend more quality time with their children. The party plans to reduce class sizes from 27:1 to 18:1.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly said the Labour Party will build 110,000 social housing units by 2020. He said the party will also introduce a 'save to buy' scheme where the State will provide €1 - up to a maximum €1,200 per year - for every €4 saved. And labour is committing to providing €300m to develop affordable rental housing for people not on housing waiting lists.
Labour also plans to establish a Private Rental Commission to improve security of tenure and housing supply.
"An affordable home for everybody is a very real possibility," Mr Kelly. He said Labour will also deliver 500 Rapid Delivery units for the homeless and families living in hotels.
Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton has pledged to prioritise the rebuilding of high streets around the country as part of her election campaign. Ms Creighton said landowners, including the State, should be penalised for not utilising fully serviced land beside main street shopping districts.
She said she favours the conversion of vacant commercial premises to residential accommodation in order to revitalise town centres. Renua will also instruct local authorities to prioritise the development of community crèches, community employment schemes, primary care centres and social amenities such as libraries.