The co-leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shorthall has said the party is targeting eight to ten seats in the next general election. 

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, Deputy Shorthall said they hoped to run in the region of 30 candidates and contest the majority of constituencies. 

"We would be targeting eight to ten seats in the next election and hopefully we will be in a position to deliver, given the energy and enthusiasm here today," Ms Shorthall said. 

Around 300 delegates attended the conference at the Royal Marine Hotel which opened with a discussion on the difficulties faced by young renters.  

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"This is a generation of young people growing up with one foot on the street because they can't afford the deposit to buy a house and can't keep up with ever increasing rents," said the party's co-leader Catherine Murphy. 

The party launched proposals for a Renters' Charter to protect tenants, which includes nationwide rent caps, a deposit protection scheme, and a minimum 90-day notice to quit period. 

"Both landlords and tenants have rights but also responsibilities in ensuring good attitudes and behaviour within the sector. Our Renters' Charter offers protections for renters to help create a rental sector that provides security of tenure as well as affordability," Ms Murphy said. 

In their key note address, the co-leaders argued against any future tax cuts when public services need to be prioritised.

Ms Murphy told the party conference this evening that voters in the next general election will have to make a choice between tax cuts or investing in better services.

"The political choice to be made is: do we collectively invest in a better health service; do we collectively decide to invest now in education; or better transport; or childcare; or do we want tax cuts which raid the public purse," asked Ms Murphy.

Ms Shorthall said Ireland's 12.5% corporate tax rate "must be the effective tax rate - not variations ranging down as low as 1% for the biggest global entities".

Ms Shorthall said global entities must be required to make a fair contribution.