Fine Gael Policy and Promises
The main national policies as outlined by Fine Gael in their policy manifestos (some in conjunction with Labour).
Tax (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
A 2-point cut in the standard rate of tax from 20% to 18%
Indexation of personal credits and bands to earnings and a further €5,000 increase in the point where 1-income married couples hit the top rate of tax
An increase in the home carers' credit to the level of the PAYE credit
A €1,000 increase in the tax credit for people working in the home caring for children or elderly relatives.
A €5,000 increase in the standard rate tax band for families.
Health (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
2,300 more hospital beds.
Free health insurance for every child under 16.
Free GP visits for every child under five.
Scrap plan to build private hospitals on public land.
1,500 new consultants, with reduction in the number of junior doctors.
1500 new convalescence beds, rehabilitation and long-stay community beds: at least 600 of these in Dublin.
Education (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
Double the capitation grant for primary schools from $163.58 to $320.
Class sizes capped at 15:1 in disadvantaged schools, 25:1 in mainstream primary schools.
Use CPO powers to purchase land at fair prices.
End the practice of forcing schools to stay in temporary accommodation for years by meeting the full costs of setting up schools
Build community use of school buildings into school designs.
Speed up project times.
Target an end to the use of pre-fabs.
Crime (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
Reform of Gardai, by independent Garda Authority.
Implementation of “real community policing”.
Establishing best international practice.
Revising Garda rostering.
Opening up senior Garda management to external candidates.
Economy (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
No higher taxes.
Adherence to EU Growth and Stability pact.
Increase capital spending to levels set out in National Development Plan 2007-13 and will invest 1% of GNP in National Pension Reserve Fund annually.
Transport and Infrastructure
An extra 200 buses for Dublin Bus.
Licences for 100 extra private buses in Dublin, also for private school buses.
Operation Freeflow now – Gardai at major junctions on M50
Mandatory Sunday and night roadworks on M50
Establish a shadow Dublin Transport Authority to develop short term transport solutions.
Housing (Stamp Duty) (FG + Lab Joint Policy)
Raising the stamp duty exemption limit for first-time buyers of second hand homes to €450,000.
Simplifying stamp duty rates by reducing the number of rates from 7 to 3. The new rates will be 0%, 5% and 9%.
Making stamp duty fairer so that you only pay the higher rate on the portion of the price over each threshold and not on the entire purchase price. Under Fine Gael's proposals, the first €100,000 is zero rated, the next €350,000 is paid at 5% and the balance is charged at 9%.
Environment and Energy
Set targets for every government agency to reduce its carbon footprint.
Will invest in the development of renewable energy.
Will cut taxes on bio fuels and encourage their growth.
Will reward people who drive lower emission cars with reduced taxes.
Will instigate an inter-departmental approach to achieve the ultimate goal of the National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion which is to totally eradicate consistent poverty.
Children and Childcare
Expansion of pre-school education, concentrating on areas of disadvantage.
Subsidise parents up to two thirds cost of access to pre-school education from private independent providers, or up to 100% if found eligible through means testing.
Establish a register of pre-school providers.
Create a Ministry for Immigration Affairs to take charge and to develop a system that is good for the Irish and good for the immigrants.