Fine Gael says it has the right team, the right relationships and right strategy to protect the interests of all people on the island of Ireland during the next phase of Brexit. It says it wants an ambitious, zero-tariff, zero-quotas free trade agreement, with a level playing field in terms of standards, state aid, workers' rights and environmental protections.
Fine Gael says it will invest an additional €5 billion per year to resource the health service. It says it will provide 2,600 extra hospital beds and 4,500 community beds. It promises to develop 3 elective hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The party, in government, wants to recruit 3,840 primary care workers with recruitment of 1,000 by the end of the year.
Fine Gael wants to extend free GP care to all children under 18. It also wants to extend free GP care to carers in receipt of the Carer's Support Grant.
The party will recap the maximum daily charge for hospital car parking at €10.
Over the next 5 years, Fine Gael pledges to invest an extra €400 million in childcare to reduce costs for parents and to increase quality and accessibility. Fine Gael says it is committed to increasing the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme to 42 weeks per year over the course of the next five years.
The party says it we will support the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee in the childcare sector to determine minimum rates of pay for childcare workers.
Fine Gael says it will work with employees and employers to bring in flexible working across the work force.
Fine Gael says it will change the point at which a person pays the higher rate of tax to €50,000 over the next five years. It says it will raise the USC exemption threshold from €13,000 to €20,500. In government, the party says it will continue to implement the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission on the minimum wage. It will enact new legislation to amend the Payment of Wages Act, to ensure that tips and gratuities cannot be used to 'make-up' wages.
Fine Gael says it will negotiate a new public pay deal, to commence in January 2021.
The party says, in government, it will further raise the Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed to match the PAYE Tax.
Fine Gael says it will increase the weekly social welfare payments to the people with disabilities by at least €25 over the next five years, a €5 increase each year. It says it will implement an awareness and support programme for employers to support the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities in employment.
Fine Gael says it will continue to increase the capitation paid to primary and secondary schools by 5% each year, over the next 5 years.
It says it will achieve the target of at least 400 multi-denominational and nondenominational schools by 2030. The party says, in government, it will conduct a study in 2020 to examine the feasibility of introducing free public transport for under 18s.
For Higher Education, Fine Gael says there will no increase in registration fees. Over the next four years, more than €500 million will be spent on upgrading and adding facilities on campuses all over the country.
Fine Gael says it will increase the number of SMEs exporting by 50%, and accelerate market diversification. It says it will continue to support SMEs by providing a small business tax package averaging €20 million in each of the next five budgets. The party, in government, says it will simplify the administrative process for applications for R&D Tax Credit to make it more accessible.
Fine Gael says it will increase the current maximum loan available to SMEs and start-ups from Microfinance Ireland to €50,000.
The party says it is committed to cutting the cost of insurance by extending the transparency of the claims database to cover public/employer liability insurance, and it will make perjury a statutory offence.
Fine Gael says it will "guarantee to pensioners" to raise their annual pension by at least €25 a week, or €1,300 a year, over the next five years.
It says it is introducing a new State Transition Pension for those retiring at 66, which will be paid at the higher State Contributory Pension rate. It will not be means tested but recipients will have to be retired and no longer in the workforce. It says it will introducing a new State Pathway Pension for those retiring
at 65, by maintaining the current payment rate, but eliminating Jobseekers criteria.
Between now and 2025, Fine Gael says it will directly provide more than 10,000 newly built homes at affordable prices, on both public and private lands. It says it will increase the maximum Help to Buy refund to €30,000 for first time buyers for new or self-build properties valued at up to €500,000.
The party says it will introduce legislation to provide for tenancies of long-term or indefinite duration, which will provide for much greater stability and security for tenants.
Fine Gael says it is committed to a comprehensive review of the tax treatment of landlords. It says this will ensure that smaller landlords, who provide most of the rental stock, are not unfairly treated compared with larger, institutional landlords.
10) Climate change
In government, Fine Gael says it will increase by 10 times the current level of retrofitting activity, and increase by 50 times the current level of electric vehicle activity.
It says it will ensure that 500,000 more commutes to work and school are taken by public transport, cycling and walking. The party says it will have planted an additional 440 million trees by 2040.
Fine Gael says it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. It will make the adoption of carbon budgets a legal requirement, and it will establish the Climate Action Council as a successor organisation to the Climate Action Change Advisory Council.
Fine Gael says it will increase electricty generated from renewable sources to 70%.