Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused the Government of an unfair recovery, spin and broken promises in his Ard Fheis speech.

Mr Martin promised the reform of the Universal Social Charge and a new minister for Community Support and Development.

He described the Government as arrogant and out of touch saying it was obsessed with trying to buy re-election.

Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil wanted a more fair tax system and to reduce the Universal Social Charge.

The Fianna Fáil leader promised to ban zero-hour contracts and the reverse cuts to rent allowance.

He said that despite the recovery that families and communities are being left behind in a country becoming more and more divided.

Mr Martin said his party would introduce a Minister for Community Support and Development to give communities a voice at the Cabinet table. 

The Fianna Fáil leader said as a republican party they supported the right of two people to make the great commitment of marriage to each other. 

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Environment spokesperson Barry Cowen told the Ard Fheis that it would have a housing policy which includes a saving scheme for first time buyers if elected into Government.

The proposal would give first time buyers 25% of the deposit to be capped at €10,000 for a couple and €5,000 euro for a single person over 4 years.

The scheme will cost €105 million a year, Mr Cowen said it would be available to those who are under 40 and first time buyers.

He said It would not be means tested. 

Mr Cowen  also said the party would lift the rent cap and would look at rent controls.

He said the current situation was a scandal.

Fianna Fáil plans to fund private developers with Strategic Investment Fund

The policy also proposes directing the €7 billion Strategic Investment Fund to start providing finance to private developers who cannot access credit.

It also commits to building 150,000 new houses by 2021 and providing 45,000 new social housing units.

Universal Social Charge

Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath says it would take more than one term in government to get rid of the Universal social charge.

Mr McGrath said he was laying down a marker in relation to the tax.

He said in the short term they would reduce the burden of USC.

Asked if it was major shift in policy as the last Fianna Fáil budget proposal did not include any changes to USC, Mr McGrath said last October the recovery was still fragile .

Mr Cowen said it was an emergency tax for an emergency time.

Earlier, The Fianna Fáil party passed a motion that gives a commitment that it will not go into government with Fine Gael after the next General Election.

Four delegates spoke about the motion from the Kevin Barry Cumann in Dublin Bay North before a small crowd in the Minerva Suite in the RDS this morning.

The party has also passed a motion that it will not go into government as a minority party after the next General Election.

One long-time member said Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael differ too much in areas such as education.

She said the party should wait for a few elections before returning to government and the party should concentrate on "responsible Opposition."

The motion was passed with a show of hands.

Fianna Fáil members voted last night to change how their party leader is elected giving party members, senators, MEPs and councillors a say in the next leadership contest.

Although party leader Micheál Martin insisted this would not be his last Ard Fheis as leader.

Opening the Ard Fheis, Mr Martin told delegates their party was now the largest in local government, and they were ready for the next election.

He also accused Labour and Fine Gael of trying to buy their way out of unpopularity and he was highly critical of the Government's record in health.