Labour Party Manifesto 2020 published

Labour Trade Unionists
28 January 2020

The Labour Party has today launched its manifesto for Election 2020 setting out our key measures aimed at Building an Equal Society.

Labour’s core commitments are to stop the waste of public money seen under the current Fine Gael government and past Fianna Fáil governments, to build homes and fix health.

The fully-costed plans commits €8 billion to public services over five years, alongside our plan to index link income tax and USC credits and bands to the rate of inflation, and increases to social welfare payments.

Labour will freeze and cap rents, and commit €16 billion in funding to build 80,000 social and affordable homes over five years, which will come from existing State reserves. Speaking at the launch of the Labour Party manifesto, Labour leader Brendan Howlin T.D, said:

“Our manifesto clearly sets out are stall and our unwavering commitment to Build an Equal Society for all our citizens.

“Quite simply, we want to stop the waste of public money, to build homes and to fix health.


Our Manifesto is available here: 

Our Economic and Fiscal Policy is here: 

The short note below outlines the key commitments and spending plans within our Manifesto and is available here as a pdf: 


Stop the Waste of Public Money, Build Homes and Fix Health

Labour’s Key Commitments in our 2020 Manifesto

First and foremost, Labour wants to end the waste of public money and ensure that every euro is properly used and properly accounted for.

Labour will not support any party to form a government, whether in coalition or from the opposition benches, unless they agree to implement our core policies, as follows:

  1. Labour will freeze and cap rents for three years, and invest €16 billion to build 80,000 social and affordable homes over five years because the private market has failed.
  2. Over five years Labour will invest €5 billion in our health service, €1 billion every year of new money, to end the recruitment embargo so we have fully staffed hospitals and primary care centres, slash waiting lists, and deliver free-of-charge GP care for under-18s.
  3. Labour has a plan for Better Pay and Job Security and we want to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, guarantee a right to be represented at work by a trade union, and to freeze the State pension age at 66.
  4. We want a fair start for every child and we will invest an extra €200 million annually to make primary education genuinely free-of-charge and to develop a Childcare Scheme for Working Parents.
  5. Labour will invest in climate action now, targeting 100,000 homes for insulation and retrofitting each year, and invest in the ESB, Coillte and Bord na Móna to create new sustainable jobs in clean energy, recycling and land management

Labour Spending Plans Explainer

  • There is €11 billion of unallocated fiscal space under Department of Finance projections, with €3 billion for unallocated tax cuts and €8billion for current spending. Labour will implement €400m net of tax increases a year over 5 years providing an extra €2 billion for investment. We will commit an extra €500m per year from 2021 to capital that will fund a €2 billion Capital Expenditure Reserve, fund €1 billion to accelerate health projects and €1 billion for climate action.
  • We will use the annual €600m for ‘unallocated tax cuts’ to index link income tax credits and bands, and a minimum of a €5 weekly social welfare payment increases costing €360m per year at 2020 rates. Indexation of income tax credits and bands and USC will cost €170m in 2021 leaving a balance of €70m for other measures.
  • Of the €8 billion we have provided for current spending after social welfare increases, we will allocate €800m per year or €4bn over 5 years for health current spending alongside a further €1bn for health capital for a total of €5bn over 5 years for new measures in our health service.
  • We also have provided €1bn for Education and Childcare over 5 years, equivalent to an annual €140m for Education and €60m for childcare for new measures.
  • Within the €8 billion current spending package we have a reserve of €3 billion to fund other Departmental measures such as increased funding for the Arts, and provide for a three-year public sector pay deal.
  • In 2021 we are providing €250m to stop the pension age increase to 67 and provide for a transition payment, and a further €50m over the next four years to account for demographic changes.

New Current Spending Commitments in 2021

Health                   €800m

SW €5/wk             €360m

Pension                 €250m

Income Tax           €170m

Education             €140m

Childcare              €60m

Defence                 €20m

Balance                 €200m for other measures


5 Year Spending Plan of €13 billion

=> €2 billion Capital for Health and Climate

=> €4 billion Current Spending for Health

=> €1 billion Current for Education & Childcare

=> €1.8 billion for Social Welfare Increases

=> €0.85 billion for Tax Indexation

=> €0.3 billion for State Pension

= Total Commitment of €10 billion

With a balance of €3bn for other Department measures, a negotiated Public Pay Deal and a further €2bn Capital Expenditure Reserve.


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