The government is setting out important plans to open up new opportunities and to solve difficult problems. These plans are being built on a solid foundation. Responsibility for delivery is being assigned to leadership who will be accountable.
Investing in our Children’s Future
- Building extensions and new schools, for 62,000 pupils with a wider choice of school patronage.
- Investing in a range of new Apprenticeships with an intake of 1,500 in the first wave and 2,500 in the second.
- A Strategy for Childcare developing free pre-school from age 3 and improving quality and affordability of early childhood care.
Building New Infrastructure
- A New Housing Strategy to fast track new homes (including 35,000 social housing and 20,000 Nama – built).
- An Integrated Transport Plan for Dublin with a lighter Metro North (Connecting the Airport, DCU and the Mater to Stephen’s Green), extended Luas, more frequent services and better options for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Better accesss to Healthcare through 80 new Primary Care Centres and the new Chilrdrens Hospital.
Better Services for our Communities
- A transformation in the oversight and management of the Gardaí with a new Independent Police Authority and a modern ICT system equipped to deal with sophisticated criminals.
- An integrated strategy to tackle Suicide and ring-fenced money for Mental Health.
- Better Pathways to Independence for people whose lives have been disrupted by job loss, homelessness, tragedy, disability or addiction
NO GOING BACK
The biggest risk to Ireland is that we slip back to old ways. In government we have made some important changes to prevent the mistakes of the past being repeated:
- A ban on Corporate Donations and new Regulation of Lobbyists
- Strong Freedom of Information and new Protection of Whistleblowers
- A strong Financial Regulator and an independent Fiscal Council to protect against bad budgets
- A new way of selecting State Boards so only the best suited persons are considered
Politics must continue to change, building on this greater openness and stronger accountability. Loose government spending could undermine the virtuous circle of strong enterprise creating better paid jobs and supporting better services.