Party set to reveal plans for water and housing
Environment Minister Alan Kelly is preparing a nationwide building programme with social houses to be built in every county bringing thousands of jobs.
Mr Kelly last night said the Government social housing strategy would see a €4bn capital investment over the next five years, bringing 29,000 jobs. He said plans to refurbish and develop will see €4.8bn being spent up to 2020 and creating 39,000 jobs.
"If elected we intend to continue the major public investment programmes in housing and water infrastructure. This will prove a major boost to the economies of the areas affected in terms of both housing provision and providing clean and safe water systems," Mr Kelly told the Irish Independent.
Environment Department officials said councils across the country had last week forwarded their housing plans to the department. Mr Kelly is expected to complete county-by-county plans in the coming weeks.
Labour Party delegates at their conference will today hear of job-creation efforts from their five ministers as Labour attempts to reposition itself "as the party of work". Mr Kelly said all ministers had job-creation capabilities within their own departments and these would be deployed in the coming months.
The job-creation effort will be coupled with all-out attacks on "so-called hard left" and Sinn Féin as parties "seeking to perpetuate a welfare model".
Mr Kelly said people who are unable to work for whatever reason require support. "But we need to have a conversation about work and the value of work. Everybody has to make a contribution to society," he said.
Welcoming delegates to INEC conference centre in Killarney last night, party leader Joan Burton listed 10 achievements of the party in government over the last four years. These include protecting the old age pension; securing legislation for the X-Case; and the planned €4bn social housing package.
But Ms Burton admitted the party faces "a tough battle" to secure participation in a second consecutive government term. She praised her predecessor, Eamon Gilmore, and former leader and minister Pat Rabbitte.
Ms Burton said Fianna Fáil "created the monster that was the bank guarantee" and Sinn Féin also voted in favour of this. "Unlike Gerry Adams, I'm good at maths. I knew the bank guarantee was a bust and I shouted as much from the rooftops," the Labour leader said.
Ms Burton said that on entering government in 2011, she feared it would take five years for Ireland to emerge from the bank crisis and associated recession. But in fact it was achieved in three years. She said almost €4bn had been cut off the 2010 Troika deal done by the Fianna Fáil-led Government.
John Drennan's Guide to Politics - Spring 2015
The next election will change your life. In a special supplement with the Sunday Independent, John Drennan presents his guide to Irish politics.
Guide To Politics
- And they're off: the great election race begins but, as to where it ends, sadly nobody knows
- The key issues - Remember tax reform is not illegal, Enda
- It's like a talent show - you have to make the audience want you
- Could our interrupted revolution lie in the humanising of our politicians?
- 'It's awful losing your seat, it's a very public humiliation...'
- Too early to rule out FG/SF Coalition
- Shadowy back room boys and girls with the ear of ministers
- Enda and Joan's shaky house of cabinet cards
- Despite Enda's stated preference Easter 2016 not yet definite
- As they hatch their plans, what might be the hopes and ambitions of our party schemers?
- Battle of the leaders to be key deciding factor in election race
- Spectral scenarios or sweet dreams
- When the fuss is over who will be the winner?
The Gender Gap
The Generation Game