The Labour Party has launched its election manifesto, with a plan to freeze rents and build 80,000 social and affordable homes over the next five years.

The party is also promising to spend an additional €1 billion annually on health and to deliver free GP care to under 18s.

The party said it would not be introducing any tax cuts for workers, but said it would widen income tax bands, while also launching a major review of Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate.

It said it wants to invest €16bn in housing over the next five years, delivering 80,000 social and affordable homes.

This would be funded the "Rainy Day Fund", the Strategic Investment Fund, the European Investment Bank and NAMA.

The party would also freeze the pension age of 66, invest €300m per year to make primary schools genuinely free of charge and develop a new childcare scheme for working parents.

On climate, the party said it would ring-fence revenue from the carbon tax to invest in sustainable jobs and for home insulation programmes.

The party also said it would introduce a "stronger" national homeless strategy within its first 100 days of government.

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Labour would set up a new citizens assembly to modernise and reform the Constitution.

Issues to be discussed would include gender equality, diversity, the public ownership of utilities including Irish Water and the right to housing.

On government, it says it would limit the number of departments to 15.

The party also said it would ban food waste by supermarkets, saying surplus food would be redistributed via charities, be reused in animal feed or be recycled into other products.

It would also ban the use of credit cards for gambling.

It said it would progressively abolish the system of Direct Provision.

The party says it will not support any party to form a government, whether in coalition or from the opposition benches, unless they agree to implement the policies.

Party leader Brendan Howlin said he was hopeful for a progressive alliance after the general election.

He said he had name checked the parties that Labour would be willing to work with.

"There's nobody I wouldn’t talk to," he said, but he added that there are "very serious barriers to working with Sinn Féin".

"There are fundamental issues of trust about who runs Sinn Féin."

Mr Howlin said he is not sure of the structure of Sinn Féin but "there is no 'una voce'" in Labour’s Central Council.

He was responding to Sinn Féin’s comparison between its party’s Ard Comhairle and the Central Council of the Labour Party.

He also said Sinn Féin’s tax plans were not progressive.

Additional reporting Petula Martyn