20 February 2016

Speaking at the launch of ‘Standing Up for Public Services:


I would like you to welcome you to the launch of “Standing up for Public Services.”


This is Labour’s plan to invest in the services that families and communities need.


I am joined by my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin.


Brendan will speak to you in a few minutes on our plans for recruitment in the public sector.


Before he does, I want to say a few words about Labour’s unique commitment to delivering services for Irish families.


In this election, our platform is clear.


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.


That can be done in two ways. One, through reductions in taxation – and we will be speaking about that tomorrow.


And second, by reducing costs for health, schools, and childcare.


We are planning to invest in those services to a greater extent than any other party.

By continuing to roll-out free GP care, capping childcare costs, and reducing school costs, we will provide for families.


To give you four examples:


A family living in Laois with two school-going children aged 7 and 9 requiring 15 hours of childcare per week will be better off by €3,550 under Labour’s plan.


A couple with a two year old child in childcare will find themselves €2,340 better off per year.


A family living in Carlow with a 14 year old in school and a 19 year old in college, will be better off by €1,680 annually.


And, finally, a single-child family attending primary school will save €592 under Labour.


These savings are made through a combination of GP costs, child benefit increases, reductions in voluntary contributions, school transport costs, book rental schemes, childcare caps, and a reduced student contribution.


The Labour Party does not believe in having a strong economy for a strong economy’s sake.


We believe that a strong economy is the starting point for building a decent society.


Through responsible management of the economy, we are in a position to build that decent society.


Only Labour will invest in services on this scale.


Only Labour will raise living standards and ensure better communities.


Only Labour will truly deliver for working families.


Thank you.




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