Louth TD Gerry Adams and Cllr Ruairi Ó Murchú this morning launched the party’s Alternative Budget proposals in Dundalk.
Gerry Adams said:
“Sinn Féin’s costed budget proposals are about increasing the income to family homes, and lowering costs to make life affordable again.
Very specifically our wide range of policy proposals aim to end the crises in housing and health.
Sinn Féin is calling for a three-year temporary freeze on rents allied to a temporary tax relief for renters. This tax relief would cover the price of one month’s rent for every renter in the State for a period of three years. At the same time, we would fund an ambitious building programme to ensure that there are affordable and social housing available. This would bring the total number of social houses delivered in 2019 to 10,260.
The cost of childcare is among the highest in Europe and for many families it amounts to a second mortgage. Sinn Féin is proposing an increase to the Affordable Childcare Scheme from 50 cents to €2.5 per hour. This would halve the cost of childcare for young children.
Sinn Féin would increase incomes by raising the minimum wage to €10.50 and implementing an €11.90 living wage across the public sector and civil services. We would also increase social welfare payments and pensions by €5 and the disability allowance, invalidity pension and blind pension by €9.
We also have an ambitious investment programme for our health service which includes opening 500 beds, recruiting 350 nurses and 150 midwives, and increase respite care services by 20%.
Sinn Féin would lay the foundations for world class public services through increased investment in education, healthcare, disability services and public transport”.
Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said: “As with all budgets, this budget is about choices. Sinn Féin chooses to invest the available resources in our public services and infrastructure to help protect us from another economic crash.
Our budget is about a new, modern economy based on fairness, shared prosperity and world-class public services, where we invest in the potential of every citizen and community in the state, and where no one is ever left behind.
Among our priorities we would strengthen rights for workers and ensure that banks and the wealthiest in society pay their fair share of tax.
We would invest in the potential and stability of SMEs and Irish businesses in the face of Brexit and increasing uncertainty.
These are the choices Sinn Féin would make. Our alternative budget is costed and achievable.”