How We Will Pay for Our Policies
Labour Party Manifesto 2020

Labour is serious about safeguarding the public finances and continuing to grow the economy. Now is not the time for big tax giveaways, with nearly 4,000 children in homelessness and a million people waiting for a health appointment. Labour is committed to focusing available resources on the most important issues: housing and healthcare. 


The Economy

Labour's focus for the economy and public finances will be:

  • Stopping the waste of public money through greater transparency and oversight
  • Reducing the cost of living through affordable housing and better healthcare, education and childcare
  • Improving wages and job security
  • Expanding the proportion of working age people in the labour market
  • Dealing with Brexit and trade
  • Promoting new technology and innovation
  • Promoting medium-sized indigenous enterprise
  • Promoting sustainable jobs in towns and less developed regions
  • Providing certainty for business about regulation

You can read our full analysis here:


Labour will lower income tax and USC in line with inflation, so that pay rises are not eroded by tax. This will cost €200 million/year.

Labour will increase taxes on non-residential property, shares, very high incomes, sugar, plastics, fossil fuels and e-cigarettes. This will bring in €400 million/year.

The net effect will be a small increase in tax revenue of €200 million/year. (The cumulative effect will be €3 billion more for public spending over five years).

In contrast, Fine Gael will cut public spending by €8.6 billion over five years, with most of the benefit going to the top 20%. Fianna Fáil is proposing €5.2 billion of cuts to public spending, with significant tax cuts for the wealthy. Sinn Féin is proposing €7.2 billion of tax cuts AND €11.5 billion of tax increases, which would recklessly endanger the economy and unbalance the tax system.

Public Spending

In 2021, Labour will:

  • Create a €16 fund from state assets, the European Investment Bank and credit union investments (e.g. €4bn from NAMA, €5bn from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund)
  • Allocate €1 billion to Health (€800 million current plus €200 capital)
  • Allocate all carbon tax revenues (c.€400m) to climate action: home insulation, public transport, sustainable jobs
  • Increase Pensions and Social Protection by €5/week every year (cost €360m)
  • Keep the Pension Age at 66 (cost €250m)
  • Invest in Education (cost €140m )
  • Invest in Childcare (€60m)
  • Restore pay and allowance in Defence (cost €20m)
  • With €200m available for other measures

A two-page summary of Labour's spending proposals is here: