Progressive Democrats Promises and Policies
The policies and promises of the Progressive Democrats should they be re-elected to office
Reduce the higher rate of income tax to 38% in the lifetime of the next government.
Reduce the lower rate of income tax to 18% in the lifetime of the next government.
Ensure no new, additional taxes / levies on employment.
Those earning the minimum wage pay no income tax.
Continue to increase tax credits and bands
Adjust tax bands so that a couple, both earning can earn at least €100,000 only pay income tax at the standard rate and a single worker could earn €50,000 and only pay income tax at the standard rate.
Couples earning up to €40,000 will pay no income tax.
Single workers earning up to €20,000 will pay no income tax.
Will continue to support the reform agenda which Mary Harney is delivering for patients.
A License for all hospitals to guarantee higher standards of hygiene and care.
Faster admission and faster discharge from hospital – no-one will wait more than 6 hours for admission to A&E.
1,500 new consultants on a new contract.
1,000 new public hospital beds by faster private investment.
Establish an Ombudsman for Older People as a new advocate for older people.
No-one will face unaffordable nursing home care costs.
Expand home care services for older people and guarantee affordable nursing home care.
Invest over 5bn in school infrastructure, development and information and communications technology.
Conditions in planning permission to guarantee that large new developments must include school facilities.
Reduce class sizes, to maximum of 25 per class in national schools.
Increase capitation for primary schools.
Double the output of 4th Level graduates.
High levels of investment in education and training combined with growing support for Research, Technology and Innovation through R&D Tax Credits, R&D grants from EI/IDA as well as a huge investment programme in basic R&D and Industry/Third Level cooperation via Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI).
A €26 billion investment in education and training.
Maintain free third level education
Provide 600 teachers for language supports in the education sector by 2009.
Increase Garda numbers from 14,000 to 16,000.
Rebalance criminal law to make it fairer for victims
Update PULSE, computerize fingerprinting and DNA records.
An extra 1200 administrative staff and new crime analysis.
Maintain fiscal prudence and ensure stability
Major tax reform package to drive enterprise and growth
Wider bands, Increased credits, Lower rates
Continue debt reduction policies so that net national eliminated by 2013
Promote positive approach to enterprise across all areas of government.
12.5% Corporation Tax Rate and 20% Capital Gains Rate maintained and vigorously defended.
Ensure innovative companies have access to competitive sources of finance.
€8 billion investment in science, technology and innovation
Greater support for applied R&D
Reduced administrative and regulatory burden on small and medium businesses.
Effective enforcement of competition policy
Allow Competition Authority to prosecute cases on its own initiative.
Provide for the imposition of administrative fines by the Competition Authority where anti-competitive activity or abuse of dominant position is established on the balance of probabilities. If necessary, constitutional provision will be made to this end.
Competition cases to receive priority scheduling, and establish a dedicated “Competition Court” if necessary
Accelerated Competition Authority inquiries, and government to respond, within 6 months max to formal proposals from Competition Authority.
Planning process not to inappropriately stifle competition
Facilitate greater labour force mobility via fair stamp duty reform, with immediate effect, in summer 2007.
Zero national debt by 2013
Transport and Infrastructure
Nationwide broadband coverage.
Dublin commuter belt as a ‘single IDA region'
The full delivery of the road network on-time and on-budget
A new Outer Orbital Route around Dublin.
New motor route from Dublin to Northwest.
Deliver our New Heart for Dublin Plan.
Tax relief for tourism infrastructure in the midlands.
Rapidly advance Cork Docklands development.
Urgent feasibility study on commuter rail for Limerick
Major new public transport / park and ride facilities for Galway.
A University for the South East.
Progress on commuter rail for Limerick and LASER (Limerick and Shannon Express Rail)
Housing (Stamp Duty)
Deliver social housing for 60,000 new households.
Reduce the burden of Stamp Duty on owner-occupiers and in reducing the unfairness of the current system caused by the lack of tapering relief. No need to reduce Stamp Duty for professional investors.
Abolish stamp duty for first time buyers.
Make stamp duty fairer by banding rates so that owner-occupiers pay the higher rate only on the portion of the price over each threshold.
Reduce stamp duty charge to be paid on the average home in Dublin by €17,050.
Environment & Energy
Create a new Department of Environment and Energy.
Require all major bus and fleet operators to convert vehicles to biofuel on a phased basis.
Ensuring that 30% of electricity is generated from renewable sources by 2015.
Ensure ESBs transmission and distribution operations break-even, rather than return a profit to the State, resulting in reduced prices for customers.
Ensure that bio-fuels represent 5.75% of fuel market by 2009.
Scrap the current VRT and Motor Tax system so motor tax paid on a car will depend on the vehicles fuel efficiency.
Grant Aid to farmers to plant 'energy crops' of willow and elephant grass.
One year's free community based pre-school; initially for low-income families/deprived areas.
Increase the basic state pension to €300 per week by 2012.
A Special Pension Account (SPIA) where the state will contribute €1 for every €2 contributed by the individual, available to all individuals earning up to €66,400.
Create an new Child Protection Unit for all issues related to child welfare in our education system.
Provide an extra 50,000 new childcare places by 2010.
Keep Children's allowance payments in line with inflation increases.
Increase the 'under 6 childcare supplement' from €250 to €500 per quarter by 2012.
Invest 60m in National Childrens Strategy.
Schools accessible to students outside normal school hours to help commuting parents.
Management of the integration and equality agenda will be move from Department of Justice and become the responsibility of a Social Affairs Department.
We will also invest in general promotion of immigrant integration (€36 million), language support (€637 million) and to continue funding the National Action Plan Against Racism (€27 million).
Public Finances and Waste
All relevant policy proposals strictly dependent on the maintenance of fiscal responsibility and prudence.
A public expenditure profile that reflects the growth in the economy.
An annual expenditure for capital purposes of 5% of GNP.