Fine Gael’s Manifesto has prioritised fairer taxes, a better deal for families and older people, a reformed health service and balanced prosperity for every part of Ireland, Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said, “We have outlined how the party will ensure a Future to Look Forward to.”
Some of the key commitments in the manifesto include:
A fairer tax package, increasing the point at which a single person pays the higher rate of tax to €50,000 and to €100,000 for a couple.
Raising the USC income exemption threshold from €13,000 to €20,500.
Our plan to create 200,000 jobs right across the economy and in key public services – nurses, teachers, doctors and Gardaí.
A better deal for families to cut their bills and offer more security on the costs of childcare. Free GP care to under 18s, free primary school books and more paid parental leave.
The expansion of Help to Buy Scheme to help more people buy their first home.
Reform of our health service.
A Golden Years Guarantee which increases the State pension by €25 a week over the next five years.
Real Climate Action with a focus on more and better public transport.
Balanced regional development and sustained investment in rural Ireland.
Promoting equality, empowering women in the workplace and in education.
The recruitment of up to 700 Gardaí every year over the next five years and the implementation of Garda reforms.
Cllr. O’Shea said, “Fine Gael is the only party who can be trusted to manage the economy steadily and shepherd Ireland through the next phase of Brexit so that these vital investments in our public services can be made.
“We want to ensure that everyone feels the benefits of our strong economy in their pockets and in every town and village here in Cork North West.”
Some of the main commitments included in the manifesto are:
More frontline Gardaí
Cllr. O’Shea said, “We have recruited over 3,000 Gardaí since we re-opened Templemore and we will fund up to 700 Garda recruits every year.
“We have Garda Support Units now in every Garda region and we are committed to ensuring they are properly resourced.”
Reform our health service
Cllr. O’Shea continued, “Our plan has allowed for funding to drive the reform or the health services making care more affordable and delivering it closer to home.
“Our plan delivers an increase to current health funding of €5 billion over the next five years. We will recruit 3,840 primary care workers and 5,000 nurses
over the next five years.
“We will deliver free GP care for under 18s among other measures to reduce the cost of care.
“In relation to Mental Health we will fully implement and resource a refreshed Vision for Change and use a ‘stepped care’ approach, ensuring that each person can access a range of options of varying intensity to match their own needs.”
“A Fine Gael Government will expand the Help to Buy scheme so that the maximum tax rebate that can be claimed from HTB will be €30,000 or 10% of the cost of purchasing or building a new house (whichever is lesser). This will help more first-time buyers in Cork North West buy their first home.
“We will also expand the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan for five more years and ensure that renters get a fair deal.
“Already Fine Gael is delivering the largest social housing programme in decades and if re-elected we will ensure that 60,000 social houses are provided over the next five years,” Cllr. O’Shea said.
Cllr. O’Shea added: “We are committed to cutting the cost of insurance. Some of the measures we have committed to include extending the transparency of the claims database to cover public/employer liability insurance.
“We will also create an office tasked with encouraging international insurers to the market.
“A Fine Gael Government will also introduce a deterrent to deal with people who have a history of bringing forward fraudulent claims from bringing new ones without High Court approval.
“We will also consider changes to the Occupiers Liability Act and the Civil Liability Act, to strengthen waivers and notices to increase protections for consumers, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups.
Support for workers on lower incomes
“We will raise the USC income exemption threshold from €13,000 to €20,500 so that people on low incomes like full time minimum wage workers, low paid part-time workers and people in receipt of modest occupational pension are no longer in the USC net.
“A Fine Gael Government will also introduce a Free School books scheme for all primary schools, as well as expanding our free hot meals in schools to more school children every year.
Cllr. O’Shea concluded, “These are just some of the key commitments in our manifesto that will make a real difference to people here in Cork North West. I would invite everyone to read our manifesto on our website, www.finegael.ie.