Labour’s focus is on delivering equality not failed policies of FGFF

14 September 2019

Speaking in response to the Taoiseach’s suggestion of an election in May 2020, the leader of the Labour Party said that this election will determine whether Ireland becomes an equal society like other European countries. 

Deputy Howlin said:

“Labour will not support any government – including from opposition – unless it is prepared to deliver specific policies to build an equal society.

“The three years and four months of the Fine Gael-Independent-Fianna Fáil government arrangement have not delivered good government or an equal society. Rents are out of the reach of ordinary workers, home ownership is unaffordable and homelessness is at record highs, despite the economic recovery. Hospital waiting times and overcrowding are as problematic as ever, and the privatisation of health care is accelerating. While the economy is growing and unemployment has fallen, a quarter of workers are in low paid jobs. Neither Micheál Martin nor Leo Varadkar is proposing real change.

“Labour’s goal is to set out a clear alternative to the failed economics of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Where they rely on the free market, Labour want the state to build 80,000 affordable and council homes over the next five years. Where they have maintained the two-tier health system, Labour wants to expand free GP care to the under-18s next, and ultimately provide free-of-charge primary healthcare to everyone on the basis of medical need, not ability to pay. Where they have allowed work to become precarious, Labour wants all workers to have the trade union collective bargaining rights that are commonplace across Europe.

“Fewer than half of voters endorsed Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil at the last general election, and Labour is determined to see the rise of a progressive alternative in Irish politics, based on bringing Ireland closer to the social and environmental protections and quality of life achieved in countries like Denmark or the Netherlands. Whether the next general election is in May next year, or sooner, Labour is ready to offer the people a progressive alternative to the failed policies of the current government.”


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