LABOUR’S FIVE POLICY PRIORITIES
The Labour Party’s policies are based on the fundamental equality of every person, and the right of everyone to a good standard of living. Labour will not support any party to form a government unless they agree to deliver our core priorities, with a clear timetable for implementation.
Workers need a pay rise. Wages have not kept up with the cost of living and the minimum wage has fallen well below the “low pay” benchmark of 60% of the median wage. Everyone who works should have a decent standard of living without endless struggle. Labour would raise the minimum wage to a real Living Wage, above the low pay mark and enough to pay for a minimum essential standard of living. Labour will require employers to engage with trade unions and engage in collective bargaining over wages and conditions.
The State pension age is to rise from 66 to 67 in 2021 but Labour wants the increase to be stopped for the duration of the next government.
The Government’s Housing Strategy is not working. Labour would deliver 80,000 affordable and sustainable homes on public land. Other countries build and so can Ireland, with the right political will. Renters also need a break. Labour would freeze rents and introduce maximum rents (“rent caps”) on a regional basis until enough homes have been built. Labour has frozen rents before, and we can do it again.
We need a health service that we can trust. Healthcare and disability support should be based on medical need, not ability to pay. Labour will keep expanding free GP care and community primary care services to reduce hospital overcrowding and waiting lists, while providing medical tests and mental health services close to where people live. We will train and retain more GPs, while also investing in home help and respite care so people can be cared for with dignity in their own home.
A child’s first few years sets the foundation for their life and Labour envisions a society where no child is left behind. The average cost of childcare in Ireland is among the highest in the EU. Labour would pilot a new Childcare for Working Parents Scheme. We would also make primary education genuinely free-of-charge, with free schoolbooks and hot school meals.
Labour introduced Ireland’s first climate law and the city bikes scheme; and we will deliver again on climate. Real climate action needs the government to lead a change of industrial strategy. Labour would fund state enterprises like Bord na Móna, ESB and Coillte to create new, sustainable jobs in clean energy, recycling, new materials and land management. Labour would fund local authorities to retrofit homes to lower heating bills and emissions.