Programme for Government represents a bad deal for Ireland

12 May 2016

Labour Party Leader Joan Burton has said the Programme for Government shows this government is going to be one which lacks ambition, is unfair and afraid to tackle the big issues of our time.

Deputy Burton commented: “The Programme for Government represents a bad deal for Ireland. It is incredibly irresponsible there are no costings in the document considering the economic period Ireland has just come out of. The public has no idea what the cost implications are of all the side deals Fine Gael made with Independent TDs to ensure they had enough votes to secure a minority government.

“It is evident this government is going to be one which is afraid to tackle the big issues. By avoiding committing to a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment the government has essentially said to women their reproductive rights are not a priority.

“The absence of a commitment to implement overtime the recommendations of the McMahon Report to reform the Direct Provision system is truly disappointing and a regressive move.

“It is appalling there is no Minister for the Environment in this government and it’s astonishing the Minister for Climate Change does not support windfarms as a source of clean and renewable energy.

“Working families will lose out under this government. The government appears to have abandoned the living wage Labour in government was delivering. There is also no mention in the Programme for Government of continuing on the work Labour was doing to tackle low and irregular hour contracts. In another blow to working families, the government has said they are only committed to providing free GP care to those under 18.

“As Minister for Social Protection I considered linking child benefit to school attendance to be an unpractical and regressive move. Labour wanted to increase the state pension by €260; the government has said they will only increase it in line with inflation.  The target of 31,000 new apprenticeships by 2020 is disappointing. Labour planned to provide 50,000 new apprenticeships by 2020. There is also no specific provision in the Programme for Government to increase the number of Special Needs Assistants.

“Labour in government was working to deliver an economic and social recovery. The Programme for Government shows that this government has little interest in advancing a modern and more equal Ireland.”

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