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Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams – Manifesto launch

10 February, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan

Launching Sinn Féin’s manifesto this morning in Dublin, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:

“We are very happy to launch Sinn Féin’s manifesto for election 2011. As we have said many times, Sinn Féin is standing on a platform based on our Republican values of citizenship and equality.

“We know that some of the objectives in this manifesto will take time and effort to bring about but we see this election as an opportunity for citizens to invest in the type of Ireland they deserve. That is an Ireland of equals.

“There is a lot of despair and distress out there. It is really important that we rise above this understandable emotion. This mess can be sorted out. But it needs people as citizens to take a stand. It needs citizens to use our votes. Sinn Féin’s manifesto points the way forward. A better way.

“We are the only party to state clearly that we would reverse budget cuts - specifically to public services, social welfare and the minimum wage. We would abolish the Universal Social Charge. Sinn Fein is also seeking a mandate for:

- Root and Branch reform of the Political System to produce a really open and accountable form of government that empowers citizens and end the influence of the political elites.

- The protection and creation of jobs.

- An end to the two tier health system and and the two tier education system

- The proper use of Ireland’s natural resources in the common good

- Continued support for the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement

“This is the broad basis of our manifesto. It also includes immediate costed and practical steps to correct the awful damage done to our society, our communities and our citizens by an awful government and those who have committed to continue these policies, if they can cobble together a Fine Gael/ Labour Coalition after this election.

“They apear to be blind to the Social consequences of their so called austerity policies. This manifesto sets out a better way – an bealach níos fearr- and a step change for the future.” ENDS

Sinn Féin proposes:

The Economy:
• Implement a new Budget as soon as possible following the election.

• Close the deficit over 6 years, not 4. We would envisage a €3billion adjustment
for the remainder of 2011 (€4.7billion in a full year), leaving us with a deficit of €15.7billion in 2012.

• Restructure bank debts. Burn the bondholders in insolvent banks including Anglo Irish to ensure that tax raised is spent on Irish public services – not for paying off bank debt.

• A €7 billion job-creation programme spread over 3.5 years creating more than 160,000 jobs funded by a once off transfer from the National Pension Reserve Fund and which we would use for a stimulus instead of transferring its reserves into the banks.

• Remove the income levy and Universal Social Charge, keep low earners and minimum wage earners out of the tax bracket.

Public Services:

• Create a universal health care system that provides care to all free at the point of delivery, funded from progressive taxation.

• A return to free education. End the system where schools are reliant on voluntary contributions from parents by raising the capitation grants to cover the real cost of running a school. Abolish the charge for the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert and for the mocks. Establish a booklending scheme across all primary and secondary schools.

• Boost Garda numbers. End the recruitment and overtime embargoes. Implement a process of civilianisation to free up fully-trained Gardaí from from administrative and other duties to fight crime.

A New Republic:

• A new constitution. Establishing an all-Ireland Constitutional Forum drawn from representatives of both legislatures on this island, civic society, business and trade unions to discuss and bring forward a Draft Constitution that would be put to the people in a referendum.

• Reforming how the Dáil is elected. Elect one-third of the Dáil from a list system; the other two-thirds from six-seat constituencies based on PRSTV.

• Abolishing the Seanad in its current form.

• Cutting ministerial salaries by 40% and TDs’ salaries 20%

• Northern representation in the Dáil – The existing 18 Westminster MPs to
automatically be accorded membership of the Oireachtas. Voting rights in Presidential elections to be extended to citizens in the Six Counties.

• A referendum on Irish unity.

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