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."
Today we launched our plan for moving towards a new National Community Health Service in Cork with Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister Kathleen Lynch and our candidate in Cork South-Central, Ciarán Lynch. By 2021, we will achieve significant steps towards the full rollout of Universal Health Care. We will provide free access to GP care, develop more nurse-led services, lower the cost of medicines and increase funding for primary care, community care and our hospitals.
Before the launch both Ministers headed along to the former Tait Clothing site where 82 new units are currently under construction. In our housing plan we want to build more social homes and will deliver 1110,00 social housing units by 2020. Right now, over 5,000 social homes are under construction and in the last year, over 420 local authority staff have been added to housing sections all around the country
Today we launched our plans for affordable and high quality childcare with Tanaiste Joan Burton, Deputy Ciara Conway and Cllr Mark Wall. Our plan whic h includes capping the cost of childcare for parents to €2 per hour by 2021 and an increase in paternity leave by three months.
As a father our candidate in Kildare South, Mark Wall knows the importance of good childcare provision "Today we are also proposing that parental leave is extended by 3 months, to be shared by both parents. We recognise that fathers should have the opportunity to bond with their new-born children – it’s why we introduced two weeks of paternity leave in the last Budget, which will happen in September."
Today we launched our plan for a living wage and investing in skills in one of Ireland's living wage employers - Clúid Housing with Tánaiste Joan Burton , Minister for Business Ged Nash and our candidate in Dublin Central Joe Costello TD.
We will introduce a Living Wage of €11.30 per hour by 2021 and we will make the State a living wage employer by 2021. Our plan commits to creating 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship places by 2020 and100,000 new free part-time education places.
Today in our Headquarters in Dublin's Docklands we launched our economic plan for the next five years that centres around creating a strong economy for a decent society. Our tax plan is focussed on low and middle income families -the families that most need a break.
Tánaiste Joan Burton, Ministers Brendan Howlin, Alex White and Deputy Nolan launched our plan in which we will invest €3 in services for families and communities for every €1 reduction in tax - only Labour will invest in the services that families and communities need.
We will create a new €1 billion Green Infastructure Fund to fund immediate action needed on climate change . Having delivered ground-breaking and historic climate change legislation we will now invest in the energy sector to create jobs, grow business and benefit the economy by expading the Better Energy. Warmer Homes scheme to retrofit 225,000 homes over the next five years.
We're committed to achieving a whole of Ireland recovery. Our vision is to build thriving hubs of economic activity across every region. Labour’s goal is to provide a job for everyone who wants one by 2018. We believe that every person should have the chance to work, which means investing in and supporting balanced regional development. By building up all of our regions, we can reverse the cycle of emigration and provide sustainable opportunities in rural communities.
Today we officially launched our campaign around the corner from our new head office in the beautiful Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Our Party Leader Tánaiste Joan Burton , Deputy Leader Minister Alan Kelly and Minister Brendan Howlin addressed many of our candidates who were in attendance as well as election staff.
Minister Alan Kelly, fresh from his appearance on Today with Seán Ó Rourke , MC'd the event describing the Labour Party is the party of opportunity. "To make the most of this opportunity, Ireland requires a stable and balanced government, not a gamble on an uncertain future. The Labour Party is the only party that can provide stability and balance."