Improving the Health Service
We have a crumbling and inadequate health service in need of radical reform. We have over a million people on hospital waiting lists with a rapidly increasing population . People are living longer than ever before and we are failing to keep many of our best nurses.For example there has been a 40% increase in Irish doctors working in Australia since 2013. We have the lowest amount of consultant specialists in Europe with 1.44 per 1,000 people. The European average is 2.45 per 1,000. We are committed to delivering on entrance level consultant pay to keep our medical professionals in Ireland. We are committed to the pledges below to improve our health service .
- Retention of Irish nurses and consultants through negotiating an attractive salary package at entry level and career progression.
- National health awareness campaigns and healthy living programmes rolled out across the country.
- Major investment in home and social care to free up hospital beds
- Huge recruitment campaign for front line staff in health service
- We will support substantial investment in mental health.
- We will tackle spending inefficiency in the health service and reduce bureaucracy.
Climate policy – We say NO to carbon taxes
The Irish Freedom Party accepts that climate change is real and has been taking place for millennia. It will continue to change and evolve over time. As a party we are climate realists and reject the hysteria of many of the other parties in relation to the issue. We are opposed to the carbon tax as there is no international evidence that it works in reducing carbon emissions. It punishes ordinary people for everyday activities such as driving a car or heating their homes. It is an unjust and cruel tax. It disproportionately hits people in rural areas and workers in the haulage industry.
We believe it is better to use education to encourage people into activity that is climate friendly. The political establishment wants to increase the carbon tax to E1500 per year by 2030. If our candidates are elected, we will oppose these measures and protect the people of Ireland from further taxes and climate alarmism. We are the only party who have consistently opposed the carbon tax and the climate agenda.
A fairer tax system
The Irish Freedom Party are the party of lower taxes. We are committed to lowering the tax burden of hard working individuals and families.The OECD has reported that Ireland has the second most progressive tax system among its 36 members. That basically means middle to higher earners pay disproportionately more in income tax than nearly every other developed country. Middle income earners pay the higher rate of tax of 40% at E35,300. This is too early and we are committed to increasing the threshold to E50,000 which will allow middle income earners to keep more of their hard earned money.
The Department of Finance’s tax strategy group has reported the current arrangements have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the Irish tax regime. They have also reported that such a move would cost E2.3 BN if implemented in a single year. The Irish Freedom Party want to deliver this over 3 years. We will deliver savings in other areas to fund the costs of these cuts. For example, we will substantially reduce the annual funding of around 5.5 BN on the NGO sector. Many of these NGO’s are not essential and will be required to access private funding .We will take workers on the minimum wage out of the USC net.
Ireland has also the third highest rate of low pay in the OECD. We believe one of the reasons for low pay is mass immigration which suppresses wages. By turning off the constant flow of cheap labour, employers will be forced to pay and invest in the pool of workers they have here already. Since 2004, 60% of new jobs have gone to non nationals . This is a situation that is unacceptable as many Irish workers face unfair competition and lower wages. The Irish Freedom Party’s long term plan will put an end to this with a new skills based immigration system that works for the people of Ireland. For the self employed, we are committed to increasing the tax relief on capital gains tax for entrepreneurs when they sell up .
Tackling serious crime
Ireland is in the grip of a violent crime wave that has some communities living in fear. Under the political establishment, drug gangs are terrorising areas of the country and carrying out some of the most barbaric violent crimes the country has ever witnessed. The Irish Freedom Party views this crime wave as a national emergency and will take appropriate action. Many of our Gardaí are ill equipped to deal with this particular type of crime and need to be supported. We believe the army should be deployed to patrol the most sensitive areas to back up our Gardaí and bring reassurance to communities. Much tougher sentencing for drug dealing offences will be a priority and we will also invest in education at secondary school level. This will educate and deter our young people from getting involved in the drugs trade. We will expand the Irish naval service who patrol our waters to detect drug smuggling.
The Irish Freedom Party want to double the budget of the Criminal Assets Bureau to E16m to equip them with the resources needed to fight organised crime. Reported sexual offences in Ireland are up a startling 55% since 2015. It is an alarming statistic and the Irish Freedom Party will press for a committee to be established to investigate the reasons why, with a view to taking measures to combat this type of crime. More than 50 state owned Garda stations have been closed across rural Ireland since 2012. We will reopen many of these stations to service and give security to many isolated rural areas. Our party values community policing and believe it acts as a deterrence to crime.
Recent figures show that 45% of criminals released from prison have been convicted of new offences within 3 years. We are committed to reform to deal with repeat offenders. A system of enhanced sentencing will bring longer sentences to repeat offenders and make our communities safer for the people of Ireland.
Our steps to combat serious crime:
- Army patrols in most sensitive areas
- Expand naval service to detect drug smuggling in our seas
- Invest more in education on drugs and counselling
- Reopen many Garda stations in rural areas
- Tougher sentencing on repeat offenders
- Double the CAB budget to seize criminal assets
- Increase size of Emergency Response Unit
Solving the housing and homeless problem
Ireland is in the middle of a housing and homeless crisis. The open borders policies of the establishment parties have exacerbated the problems. Ireland’s population has grown to its highest point in 170 years nearing 5 million people. That is a huge increase of 1.5 million since 1995. We have over 10,000 listed as homeless but the figure is
likely to be much higher in reality. When it comes to the allocation of social housing , the Irish Freedom Party will prioritise Irish nationals.
We will bring an end to the policy of a 2 list system were newly arrived non nationals are provided housing over Irish people who have been on the list for years. The Irish Freedom Party take the view that Ireland cannot house the world and Irish people must get preference. There are thousands of social houses around Ireland that are uninhabitable or classed as void. We want substantial funds invested in making these houses fit for habitation and purpose. To make housing more affordable we will commit to typically 50 year intergenerational mortgages.
This is appropriate given that houses with modern standards could last 150 years and its not fair that one generation pays for the asset in its entirety.This will make accessing finance much cheaper. Other commitments include:
- Incentivising the conversion of existing buildings to housing in towns and villages by doubling tax relief on on construction related costs.
- We will relax standards in insulation, disability access and open space provision for existing buildings, where achieving new standards can be very difficult to achieve
- Maximum 15% tax rate on first rental property for each individual.
- Streamline Planning system to prioritise speedy decisions on housing applications
Protecting your right to speak your mind
Our most fundamental rights are under attack from the establishment parties in Ireland. Freedom of speech is protected under article 40.6.1.i in the Irish constitution .It is one of the majestic guarantees in our constitution .However, the political establishment wants to strip away your rights with erroneous and misguided laws. The disastrous Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan recently launched a public consultation on ‘hate speech’ with a view to implementing laws that will clamp down on your ability to speak your mind on the issues of the day. He also wants to introduce ‘hate crime’ legislation which would have very serious repercussions for our legal and justice system Hate crime laws would mean a two tier legal system and undermine the principle of equality before the law. For example, crimes against ordinary members of the public would be treated less serious than crimes against members of a minority group were hate is perceived to be the motivating factor.
The Irish Freedom Party believe in the importance of freedom of speech. It is essential in any liberal society in the pursuit of truth and solving the most pressing problems in society. Historically, freedom of speech has been the main tool in correcting historic injustices such as slavery , colonialism and institutional abuse. If elected, our candidates will oppose any attempts to dilute your freedom to express your opinions and convictions.
Other party commitments:
- We want a proper debate and public consultation on Ireland 2040 plan with a view to holding a referendum on it
- Reduce the annual funding of the NGO sector. This sector costs around E5.5 BN and we have targeted it for savings.
- With reported sexual offences up 55% in 4 years, we want a government led investigation into this alarming rise.
- Stronger impeachment powers to remove Judges who are consistently erroneous in their conduct and in the performance of their duties