This afternoon we launched our plan to increase your take home pay for low and middle income earners with Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister Aodhan . We want to make sure work pays. That is why we want to abolish the Universal Social Charge for everyone earning under €72,000. This change will increase an average retail workers yearly take home pay by over €1,000 and a teachers by over €1,700.
We have a proven track record of making sure work pays. We have increased the minimum wage by 20% since 2011 – which means that someone who works on the minimum wage is €3,000 a year better off because of Labour’s influence in government.We have also taken 700,000 people out of the Universal Social Charge.
Today we launched our Standing up for Public Services plan in our Campaign HQ with Minister Brendan Howlin and Minister Ged Nash.
We plan that for every €1 in tax cuts, we will spend €3 on schools, childcare, and healthcare. These are the vital local services that all families and communities need. Families endured a lot during the economic downturn and deep recession. Now that we have a recovery, it is time to make sure it reaches the kitchen table.
If re-elected to Govenment, we will tackle gender pay issues by ensuring large companies and public sector employers make public the details their own internal pay gaps in order to stimulate stronger action towards pay equality.
Today we launched our plan to hold a referendum to repeal the 8 th Amendment. Minister for Communications, Alex White, Minister for Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, and Senator Ivana Bacik outlined how the party would deliver a referendum, and campaign strongly to repeal the 8 th amendment, if returned to Government.
Speaking at the launch in Labour’s Campaign HQ this afternoon, Minister for Communications, Alex White, said: “It’s high time that this generation was given the right to choose – through a referendum – whether the 8 th amendment should remain in our Constitution.
The recovery we have achieved together has been stable and it has been balanced. It has also been fair.
Only Labour can provide a fair government that will ensure that tax cuts are focused on low and middle income families, that there is proper investment in schools and healthcare, and that we can have a modern and progressive Ireland.
We need to keep building the strong economy so that we can have a decent society.
In this election, other parties are trying to undo all that we have achieved together. We cannot allow them to play with the recovery.
Tonight's Party Election Broadcast demonstrates this simple message. Please watch and share it with your friends, family and colleagues.
Today we launched our plan for promoting arts, culture and heritage in the Project Arts Centre with Tánaiste Joan Burton, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Kevin Humphreys and Tony Award winning director Garry Hynes.
Ireland is a country with an extraordinarily rich heritage on which to base our cultural identity. Who we are as a people is firmly grounded in an outstanding foundation of artistic and cultural achievement and excellence. We believe that participation in and enjoyment of the arts and our cultural institutions should be for the many, not the few. That’s why we will push for greater access and more innovative uses of our artistic and cultural resources to the benefit of all our citizens.
Today the Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister Jan O'Sullivan launched our Standing up for Education plan in Limerick. Among the commitments in our plan for education include delivering the smallest class sizes in the history of the State, ending the use of prefabs in schools, reducing school costs for parents, doubling the number of multi-denominational schools by 2021 and amending the Equal Status Acts so that local children can access local schools.
The Labour Party has delivered a stable and balanced recovery. In five years, we have rebuilt our economy from the ruins that Fianna Fail left it in.
We've created almost 140,000 jobs. We've cut the USC and increased the minimum wage. We've introduced free GP care, and we've passed a referendum on marriage equality.
We can look forward with hope and optimism, and begin to make Ireland a great country to live, work, and raise a family.
All this has been achieved by managing the economy responsibly and fairly. But, at the moment, storm clouds are gathering over the international economy. There is a lot of uncertainty about the wider economic outlook.
At this time, we cannot allow others to play with the recovery that we have delivered. This simple ad shows how Labour has delivered a stable and balanced recovery and how we cannot let others put that at risk. Please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáín spoke about our plan to indroduce a new and comprehensive approach to dealing with drug addicition - "We will put the Drugs Cort on a statutory footing and expand its remit. We must also ensure that the resources of the criminal justice system are targeted at drug pushers and those that wish to damage our communities, not their victims."