Green Party Policies and Promises
The policies on which the Green Party hope to be elected in the first campaign where the party is a real contender for government.
Reduce both VAT rates by 1%.
Tax credits and bands to be linked to inflation.
Reduction of employers' and employees' PRSI contributions.
Increase of the Capital Gains Tax from 20% to 25%.
2000 extra beds
Introduce free primary health care for children under the age of six in our first term in office.
Restore medical card eligibility to pre-1996 levels on a phased basis, i.e. 34% of the population.
Set up primary care centres staffed by doctors, nurses, midwives, nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Primary care should be developed within a publicly-funded, not-for-profit model of health care.
GPs should be required to provide an agreed level of out-of-hours cover as part of their GMS contracts.
Community supports and facilities that provide alternatives to psychiatric inpatient care for young people with special educational needs.
Wider availability of psychotherapy and counselling services, to provide an alternative to more expensive drug-based therapies.
Abolish tax incentives for private nursing homes; instead, public monies should be used to build facilities that form an integral part of local communities.
Increase number of under-graduate places in medicine to 725 with non-EU places capped at 25 per cent
Enhanced additional grant of €1,215 for physical education sports equipment and training for schools, bringing the total shared figure up to €3,215 per school.
Provision of an additional top-up grant of €15 per child per school.
Introduction of Physical Education as an examinable subject at second level. Ensure that each student receives between three and four hours' PE a week
Give trainee teachers an allowance, to a maximum of €500.
Increase the standard capitation grant from €163.58 per pupil at primary level to €325 per pupil, and also increase the secondary school grant.
Refund all the VAT schools are charged on expenditure arising out of fundraising and all voluntary donations.
Investigate the potential of a new Computer Studies subject. Will resource primary and second level schools to ensure that each pupil has access to a quality ICT infrastructure, with one newly purchased computer for each child of at least 6:1. In addition to existing Government commitments under the National Development Plan, will provide an extra €54 per pupil (bringing the total up to €100).
Reduce the average class size in a primary school from 24 down to 20, starting with children under nine, with a statutory maximum class size of 25.
One year's free pre-school education as a basic right for all children residing in the State.
Introduce a loan scheme to assist third level students with living expenses.
Abolition of part-time fees.
Ensure that land for schools is made available by developers as part of the conditions for planning permission / permissions in a designated area. The developers will also have to build a multi-use facilities to Department of Education and local authority specifications or else cover the costs of same as part of their development levies.
Rates of corporate and income tax unchanged for the foreseeable future.
Introduction of refundable tax credits.
Revise tax residency rules to ensure that those who benefit from Irish society also contribute to Irish society.
Abolish motor tax on a phased basis, over a five-year period, recouping the value of the revenue foregone through excise duty on fuel, excluding biofuels.
Establish an Organised Crime Agency in Ireland, with resposibility for intelligence gathering and sharing at an international, national and local level, with strong connections to all units within An Garda Síochana with relevance to fighting organised crime, and working in cooperation with Europol where necessary.
A systematic increase in Garda numbers on an annual basis until in line with population growth;
Increase numbers in civilian staffing for administrative purposes.
New discipline regulations, new promotion regulations and a whistleblowers' charter.
Re-open the Curragh Prison to deal with immediate problems of
overcrowding; Abolish plans to relocate Mountjoy Prison to the greenfield site at Thornton Hall, North County Dublin and instead review options to
refurbish and extend the buildings on site.
Repeal the sections of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 that provide for
the introduction of Anti Social Behaviour Orders for both adults
Transport and Infrastructure
Connect the two existing Luas lines in Dublin city centre via College Green and immediately extend the line via O'Connell Street and Broadstone to Finglas, introduce a new east;west Luas line from Lucan to the Poolbeg peninsula, construct a new Luas line running from Rathfarnham and Broadstone.
Promote a Galway Luas, Light rail in Cork.
Extend the proposed orbital Metro from Ballymun to Baldoyle, city Metro from St Stephens Green to connect at Beechwood station, sharing Luas Line B, Metro south from Cherrywood to follow a direct route to Bray.
Proceed with the immediate construction of the Navan rail line.
Introduce the first phase of the Western Rail Corridor connections to Shannon and Tuam.
Fast-track the railinterconnector between Spenser Dock and Heuston Station and the electrification of the Kildare and Maynooth lines.
Oversee a major investment in new quality bus corridors to improve bus turn around time and thus radically increase improve fleet capacity
High frequency bus timetables.
Set much stricter planning guidelines to prevent local and regional authorities from permitting the sprawl of long-distance commuter housing.
Amend Compulsory Purchase Order regulations so that land acquired for new transport projects is assessed on existing use rather than speculative value.
Housing (Stamp Duty)
Relief on stamp duty should be extended for older persons
who are 'downsizing' and for first-time buyers who wish to purchase the
property that is being made available as a result of such downsizing.
Give pre-emption rights to local authorities to purchase property at point of sale and make more active use of existing compulsory purchase powers.
Progressively limit the amount of money that lending institutions can lend for house purchase in order to reduce the price of housing.
Commit to ensuring the provision of 10,000 social housing units per year until the waiting lists are clear.
Environment and Energy
Let the market decide which renewable technologies work best.
Switch the spending in our transport budget.
Provide a predictable environment for energy enterprises.
Help surmount the capital cost hurdle to cheaper fuels.
Introduce clever metering and electronic switching.
Ensure that every house built next year is fully energy
Move to a 'distributed' energy grid.
Combine the tax and social welfare systems fully.
Individualise adult payments.
Work towards abolishing means-testing for primary payments such as the carers allowance and unemployment assistance and review means-testing as a method of assessment for secondary benefits.
Index link all entitlements.
Introduce a range of refundable tax credits for carers, parents, volunteers.
Work towards increasing the basic state pension from 30% of average income to 60%.
Introduce a second tier payment targeted at child poverty alleviation.
Replace Rent supplement with a Housing Benefit which would act as a direct payment to house seekers.
Children and Childcare
Free primary health care will be introduced for children six and under in our first term of office.
Repeal the Disability Act 2005 to assure ‘rights-based' access to services.
Replace the Early Childcare Supplement with a Refundable Parenting Tax.
Increase Paternity Benefit to 2 weeks with a statutory right to 6 months.
Parental Benefit (in addition to Maternity Benefit) to be taken in the child's first year, and to be available to either parent.
Initiate free and universal pre-school education of 3.5 hours, five days a week for all children in the year before they go to school.
Allocate a tax-free allowance of €5000 per child per registered childminder for up to three children.
Give the responsibility for the entire childcare sector to a new Department of Youth and Children.
Introduce a visibly independent appeal process for Immigration decisions.
Ensure that no prospective immigrant will be held in detention for migration-related reasons, other than in the most exceptional circumstances.
Ensure advice and assistance are provided in appropriate languages at ports of entry and that legal aid is provided for immigration cases.
Accept equivalent overseas educational and professional qualifications for jobs in the public sector and encourage this in the private sector.
Ensure that employment legislation protects economic migrants from being exploited by their employers.
Remove restrictive legislation surrounding work permit holders so that they can be reunited with their families after three months, provide equal status between work permit holders and visa holders and allow partners of permit holders the automatic entitlement to work following reunification.
Amend the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2001 pertaining to marriage.
Public Finances and Waste
Adequate state funding for political parties, based on electoral results,
and ban corporate, institutional or foreign donations.
Abolish the current 2% limit for funding political parties.
Restore and extend Freedom of Information legislation, reform the
libel laws and create a Press Council.
Set up an independent commission to oversee appointments to State bodies.