Real Future, Better Plan:‘Despite the many problems we face, our country retains many great strengths. With the right policies, we can and will get through this crisis and build a better future for Ireland’, Mícheál Martin.
ECONOMY AND PUBLIC FINANCES – The aim Fianna Fáil (FF) has had over the last three years has been to return our country to the path of sustainable economic growth in which jobs can be created and protected. The decisions we have taken have been difficult. But they have been the right decisions for our citizens. FF believes that we cannot tax ourselves out of a recession.
We believe in a fair tax system, a tax system that will help us maintain essential services, not hinder economic growth. We believe that through a two thirds reduction in public spending we can bridge the gaping hole in our public finances. The other third shall be raised through taxes, with everyone contributing according to their means, the more you earn the more you pay and no one is sheltered.
The repair of our public finances will enable us to win back the confidence of business and consumers in our economy. FF have revamped the system of banking regulation and have brought in new regulators with proven expertise to make sure that past failings will never be repeated. Every decision we have taken has been guided by the need to maintain a financial system that will serve the needs of the economy.
The EU/IMF programme for the banking system builds upon and intensifies our approach to fixing the banks. It provides the funding to restructure and recapitalise our banking system so that the banks remain safe places for deposits and can support the economic recovery by lending to creditworthy businesses and households. FF’s National Recovery Plan will build on the many positive aspects of our economy so that we can return to a sustainable growth path.
The EU/IMF Programme is based on our National Recovery Plan. The measures it contains will remove barriers to growth; boost our competitiveness; restore order to our public finances and repair our banking system so that it can serve the recovery. Our future prosperity rests upon the implementation of the Plan over the next four years. We wrote the Plan. We believe in the Plan. We are the party best placed to implement it.
A PLAN FOR JOBS – Restoring confidence for investors and consumers will have a very direct positive impact on job creation. We will do more to help people who are unemployed and businesses who want to create jobs. The core principles which underpin our proposals to create jobs are firstly to help individuals with education and training opportunities which can get them back into employment.
Secondly to promote Ireland’s position as a world centre for high-technology enterprise by investing in the training and finally research which are vital to this objective and sustain high levels of capital investment in employment-intensive projects which boost the competitiveness of the economy. FF believes that employment can be created and sustained in sectors such as: transport, energy, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, agri-foods, and tourism.
POLITICAL REFORM – FF believes that the essential way to assist recovery and ensure future sustainability in public policy is to radically reform the procedures for choosing and operating both parliament and government. FF believes in a serious reform in the electoral system.
Moving away and going forward from the current system FF believes in a new system that retains the direct link between TDs and the communities they serve and ensures that more national considerations are also represented in the Oireachtas.
Therefore specifically we support a mixed system of single-seat constituencies elected through the system of single transferable vote and a top-up national list which will ensure proportional representation. We also support a gender balance in the National List.
IN CONCLUSION – We in FF believe we have the strongest policies and the right agenda to bring Ireland back to sustainable economic growth. We believe in strong sustainable government who are not afraid to stand up and make the difficult choices. With the people of Ireland behind us, FF believes that we can sow the seeds for a Newer, Fairer and Better Ireland.
UCC Fianna Fáil Society