A Fair Recovery is Possible

The Government says that a recovery is underway. If it is, it isn’t a fair recovery. It is a two tier recovery, that benefits them and their friends at the top, not the majority of hard-working, fair-minded Irish citizens. 

Sinn Féin believes that a fair recovery is possible. We believe that an equal society is possible. We believe that cronyism and greed can be replaced with fairness and hope. 

There are numerous examples of the Government’s subservience to the elites in Banking and other financial institutions and to the golden circles who have profited from the recession. There are even more examples of the Government’ s attacks on citizens rights and entitlements and of the dreadful price being exacted from lower and middle income earners, children and senior citizens. 

Fianna Fáil destroyed the economy and have learned little since. Fine Gael and Labour are now copying their policies. In Budget 2015 when they had the chance to ease the burden on Irish people, they chose to assist the richest 10%. They are now on the verge of returning us to the ‘boom and bust’ policies of Fianna Fáil, where billions of euro was squandered to buy elections and all of us have paid a huge price ever since. 

We need a major change to how politics is done. 

We want to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want. You can be part of this change in Irish politics. 

There are big decisions facing the Irish people and we need an honest discussion. We will be taking this debate to every community across the country in the next twelve months as we move towards the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising and delivering on the ideals of the Proclamation.

Equal Rights For Irish Speakers

Sinn Féin supports the restoration of the Irish language as the spoken language among the majority of people in Ireland and the creation of a truly bilingual society. We believe that there should be an Aire Gaeilge & Gaeltachta in Cabinet with responsibility for language policy delivery.

We would fully review and upgrade the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language,we would strengthen the Official Languages Act and we support an Acht na Gaeilge for the North.

Equality is an integral part of a democratic society and this includes upholding the rights of Irish-language speakers. In the North, Minister Carál Ní Chuilinn has shown the political drive Sinn Féin has regarding our native language. 10,000 people have now signed up to her Department’s Líofa campaign to improve their use of the Irish language.

 

 

Standing Up For Rural Ireland

Sinn Féin has a vision for rural Ireland. A vision to make it a sustainable place to live and to work. A place where the quality of life is matched by the quality of public services.

A place where young educated graduates have the opportunity to stay and build their future and a place that welcomes back emigrants forced to leave over recent years.

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A Right to Housing

Adequate shelter is one of the most basic human needs and is consequently one of the most important human rights. This government doesn’t agree. We face a huge housing crisis. In October 2014, the official rough sleeper count was 20% higher than the previous year and nearly double the 2012 figure. According to April 2015 figures there are 3,000 people in emergency accommodation. Some families are forced to live in a single room. The number of homeless children continues to rise.

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Opposing Tory Cuts

In the north of Ireland, Sinn Fein blocked the Welfare Bill and the cuts that the Tories demanded we impose on the most vulnerable.

The response from the Tories has been as predictable as it has been reckless. Their ideological attachment to their Thatcherite agenda is such that they are willing to jeopardise the very future of the power-sharing institutions of the Good Friday agreement in order to pursue it.

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A New Way of Doing Politics

There is an urgent need for meaningful political reform of both our political culture and the political system. The choice is between the continuation of the old boys’ club that protects and promotes its own and legislates for the few, not the many and a new type of politics that respects the democratic will of the people and operates with transparency, equality and fairness.

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Decent Work And A Living Wage

The number one priority must be the creation of decent jobs with decent pay, and a real commitment to our SME sector. 70% of people employed in the private sector work for SMEs, and these businesses are the engine of our economy. Opening up public procurement, maximising the potential of ecommerce and abolishing upward only rents are just some of the ways government could and should make it easier to do business in Ireland.

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Tackling the Childcare Crisis

We need safe, quality and affordable childcare. We need childcare workers that are trained to the highest standard and a system that is registered and regularly monitored. We need childcare that is affordable.

The issues of affordability and access to high quality childcare need to be tackled immediately. The average cost of childcare stands at €167 per week with costs as high as €268 per week in Dublin.
We also need to address the insecurity and low pay for workers across the childcare sector. These are the people entrusted with the care of our children, our most valuable asset. They must be supported, paid a decent wage and encouraged to update their skills and knowledge.

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Healthcare For All

Access to healthcare when and where you need it is a fundamental right in any decent society, but it was the first casualty as the recession hit. One in every eight patients on a hospital waiting list is in the queue for over a year. Some people are waiting for up to four years to see a consultant. We have seen a deterioration of the ambulance service with potentially lethal consequences. The government has failed to honour its commitment to provide €35 million of ring-fenced mental health funding. And under this government’s watch our public system’s workforce has been shrunk by 9,255 whole-time equivalent staff.

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A Fair Tax System

If we want decent standards of health, education and childcare, then government needs resources. A fair recovery requires a tax system that raises sufficient revenue for government but does so in a manner that is fair and progressive.

Our tax system is deeply unfair. Since 2008 Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have made it even worse by introducing the Universal Social Charge, the Property Tax and Water Charges.

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A Republic for all

 

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Rising, support for republican ideals is growing. People are hungry for real change. The Easter Rising is the defining event and the Proclamation of the Republic is the defining document in the history of Irish Republicanism. Our task is to apply it’s principles to the Ireland of today and to achieve the united Ireland of Equals promised in the Proclamation.

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