This morning, my party set out a unique policy approach that will maintain the strong and stable economy we have built, and sustain a decent society with strong public services, quality jobs, and investment in our future.
Labour’s record on sound public finances and jobs – in this and previous governments – is second to none.
The stable recovery and economic growth that we have delivered – just a few short years from inheriting a collapsed economy and unsustainable public debt – are a remarkable achievement for the Irish people.
But they are not ends in themselves.
Labour sees them, instead, as a means to an end – the necessary conditions that enable us to build and sustain the decent society that the Irish people hope for, aspire to, and deserve.
This is why we keep saying that Irel and needs balance in Government – just as much as it needs stability and competence.
A Strong Economy for a Decent Society sets out how Labour intends to sustain, and build on, the recovery that the people of this country – and the policies of this Government – have achieved through hard work and determination.
It outlines how we intend to share the fruits of recovery fairly, through progressive reform of USI, PRSI and tax credits, to help those on low and middle incomes.
And it confirms Labour’s commitment that we will invest €3 in services for families and communities for every €1 that we take off tax, over the next five years.
This will enable us to invest in even more job creation – quality, high-skilled jobs that provide a career – and deliver public services and infrastructure capable of giving our children a society and economy fit for the 21st century and beyond.
It will enable us to invest in:
- Free GP care
- Mod ern, accessible primary care facilities in our cities, towns and villages
- Properly-functioning hospitals
- Improved access to mental health services
- Better – and accessible – schools with modern facilities, smaller class sizes, and reduced costs to parents
- And affordable, high quality, childcare
It is a sound plan for a stable and job-sustaining economy.
It is an ambitious plan for quality public services and social progress.
And it is platform that resonates with the hopes, ambitions and aspirations of our people.