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This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposed reforms to the social welfare system, which would ensure that it is fairer for all, and that people are protected from poverty. We are calling for three key reforms to the social welfare system, including the establishment of a Social Welfare Adequacy Commission to monitor and advise on social welfare rates annually, ensuring that rates are evidence-based and fair; the transition of social insurance payments from a flat rate to a percentage of previous earnings to ensure that workers who have paid into the system are treated fairly and protected from a sudden push towards poverty; and the benchmarking of rates for social assistance payments to a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) to ensure people are not at risk of poverty. These proposals would deliver significant and beneficial changes to our Social Protection system.
Next year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, an agreement that provides for referenda on Irish Unity, which we believe will happen this decade. This is an important time in the shaping of Ireland’s future. It is an exciting and positive time, full of potential. Irish Unity is about opportunity. The social and economic opportunities are immense.
Is é an bhliain seo chugainn 25ú Comóradh Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta, comhaontú a dhéanann foráil do reifreann ar Aontacht na hÉireann, agus creidimid go dtarlóidh sé sin sna deich mbliana atá amach romhainn. Is tráth tábhachtach é seo maidir le todhchaí na hÉireann a mhúnlú. Am spreagúil agus dearfach atá ann, lán féidearthachtaí. Baineann Aontacht na hÉireann le deis. Tá na deiseanna sóisialta agus eacnamaíocha ollmhór.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s renewable energy vision which aims to accelerate the transition to renewables while ensuring that our renewable resources are harnessed in a manner which maximises long-term social and economic benefits for Irish society. Our proposals aim to expedite the delivery of renewable energy projects and protect our energy security by better resourcing and streamlining our environmental planning system; to transition to a more ambitious, democratic and diverse renewable energy system while protecting energy affordability by reforming the PSO and expanding the role of general taxation in funding renewable supports and to transform our renewable resources into national wealth for all by expanding the proportion of state, community and domestic owned renewables.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s plan to invest significantly in our public transport system in order to help to drive down carbon emissions and create a safer, affordable, more accessible public transport network. Addressing the underlying problems of cost, accessibility and safety is crucial to encouraging more people onto public transport. Among our proposals to do this include making the 20% fare reduction permanent and cutting the cost of tickets for under 18s by 50%; accelerating the delivery of the Connecting Ireland rural bus plan, to give rural communities more transport options and delivering the total investment needed to make our train stations, bus stations and bus stops fully wheelchair accessible over 5 years.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s plan to overhaul the national retrofit plan to ensure resources are rapidly deployed and targeted at those living in energy poverty and in greatest need of energy efficiency upgrades. The government’s retrofit plan is not working. It is deeply inequitable. And it prioritises those with the greatest means over those in greatest need – excluding a huge cohort of households. In our plan, we would significantly increase the retrofitting budget for 2023, and completely overhaul the system so that funding is targeted at the poorest, coldest, and most carbon intensive homes. Crucially, the area-based component of our schemes will expediate delivery of retrofits, helping to reduce wait times, labour intensity and deliver cost savings.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget social protection proposals to support workers and families. Our measures include increasing core social welfare rates by €17.50 per week, introduced across two phases in 2022 and 2023; increasing payment rates for disability-related supports to €20 per week; increasing the Carer’s Support Grant to €2,000 per year and introducing a State Pension for Longstanding Carers among others. In addition to our proposed measures for 2023, we are putting forward a cost-of-living package which would take effect from Budget day, and which would provide a range of immediate supports for households across the State.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals for Budget 2023 that prioritises giving workers and families a break in the face of an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Our proposals would support households through the winter months by reducing electricity prices; rolling out cost of living payments to assist with other energy costs; protecting the most vulnerable; reducing the cost of fuel; cutting childcare fees and supporting renters. While supporting households through the cost of living crisis, our proposals also aim to address the failures in housing, health, climate, disability services and supports by delivering genuinely affordable homes; putting dignity, respect and fairness at the heart of our healthcare service; implementing a fair plan to tackle climate change and ensuring that people with disabilities and those who care for them are no longer treated as an afterthought.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s 2023 Alternative Budget for Housing that aims to fix our broken housing system and deliver affordable housing. A change of government is needed to reverse decades of bad housing policy. Our priority measures include delivering 20,000 public homes to meet social and affordable housing need; putting one month’s rent back into renters’ pockets and banning rent increases for three years; introducing an emergency package of measures to reduce homelessness and measures to improve housing standards; a greater focus on reducing carbon emissions in the built environment; 100% redress for those living with defective block and in defective buildings and a more participative and efficient planning system.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s €1.1 billion Alternative Budget for Health, which would kickstart a 10-year strategy to deliver an Irish National Health Service, end the two-tier health system and deliver timely health and social care on the basis of need, not ability to pay. The wide-ranging package of measures includes €150 million for reducing the cost of healthcare; €391 million for expanding hospital capacity to tackle waiting times; €82 million for mental health services and €153 million for disability services among others.
Sinn Féin’s childcare policy sets out how childcare fees can be cut by two thirds for families. It is a plan that will deliver affordable, good quality childcare, well paid careers for highly qualified professionals and sustainable services, delivered through €270m additional public investment. The government has failed to act on spiralling fees. Sinn Féin will invest in services so that fees can be cut considerably and ensure families hit by the cost-of-living crisis get a much-needed break.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s plan to cut back-to-school costs to ensure families get a much-needed break from rising expenses. The plan would cut spiralling back-to-school costs such as the price of voluntary contributions, school books, uniforms and transport, which would be delivered through an additional investment of €161 million. Our package would make a big difference to families’ finances by putting money back in their pockets to help with back-to-school costs.
Sinn Féin’s Gaeltacht Housing & Planning Policy outlines the party’s comprehensive proposals to preserve and rebuild our Gaeltacht. This document outlines Sinn Féin’s key recommendations to protect against the further erosion of the language and the Gaeltacht as we know it, including the provision of social and affordable housing for Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht, the requirement for Linguistic Impact Assessments on proposed developments and setting a national standard of competency at B2+ for language conditions among others.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals for the establishment of a Child Maintenance Service (CMS) in the State which supports lone parents and their children. The current situation as regards seeking child maintenance in the State is costly, complex and time consuming for lone parents. Sinn Féin want to take child maintenance out of the courts and instead, see a statutory agency step in when it comes to the arrangement, calculation and payment of child maintenance rather than leaving it up to the lone parent alone. We know that child maintenance, where paid, can play a key role in reducing child poverty. This is one reason why having a robust system in place is so important.
Sinn Féin’s Women’s Voices in Menopause document outlines vital policies needed to ensure that women receive necessary healthcare and workplace supports during menopause, including the need for a focus on primary and community care, knowledge and education, workplace policies and an all-island approach. Menopause care is a major issue affecting thousands of women across Ireland, yet it is clear that not enough attention is being paid within politics to this important issue. Our document outlines our commitment to challenging this taboo and delivering these much-needed changes.
This report reflects observations on creating efficiencies in the health service and opportunities for policy development gleaned from a series of engagements by Sinn Féin over three months across 14 hospitals and 14 constituencies across the island. These engagements have revealed that there is a real appetite and vision for change right across the health service and the health and social care workforce. This report outlines the findings from this series of engagements and lays out, in broad terms, the root causes of ever-expanding hospital waiting lists alongside a series of practical, realistic, and deliverable solutions to make the health service work better.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s strategy for an ambitious decarbonisation of the energy system in the North of Ireland which underpins the party’s ambition to lead a Just Transition to a net zero carbon society on the island of Ireland by at least 2050. Sinn Féin’s strategy is one of advancing social and economic justice side-by-side with climate justice, ensuring that the transition towards a carbon neutral society is accompanied by a reshaping of the economy to create a more democratic, equal, and sustainable society. This document lays out in broad terms Sinn Féin’s approach to beginning a just energy transition, that will create warmer homes, good green collar jobs, healthier and more efficient means of travel, cleaner and cheaper energy, and decent public transport for all.
This document outlines the findings of Sinn Féin’s survey regarding access to GP services across the north. Responses to the survey revealed that pressures on GP surgeries and shortages of healthcare staff have resulted in patients not getting access to the care they need. Sinn Féin therefore advocate that the Department of Health provide for more staff to meet the needs of patients in the community by accelerating plans to put more mental health professionals, nurses and physiotherapists in GP practices and by recruiting and training additional vaccinators to work alongside GPs to alleviate the additional pressures currently being felt in GP surgeries.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s plan for tourism which would create jobs, help rebuild the economy and put money in people’s pockets by making sure tourism thrives in the north and across the island. Sinn Féin’s plan would develop tourism on an all-island basis, extending the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland’s Ancient East into the north to attract even more visitors, boost the all-island economy and create jobs.
This document outlines a series of policy and legislative reforms to strengthen regulation and clinical governance in nursing homes and the social care sector as the pandemic revealed that regulation in sector is not up to standard. Sinn Féin aims to redress the shortcomings within the sector by calling for an inquiry to examine neglect, abuse, and deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic, enacting new adult safeguarding and safety legislation, empowering HIQA to improve standards and accountability in the sector and establishing a new Office of the Chief Health and Social Care Professional to better regulate and devise policy for social care professions.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals to invest in future generations of Irish sports stars by ensuring that sporting and recreational facilities are delivered into communities in a way which is fairer, more targeted and more efficient. Too often, the clubs which are bigger, more affluent and more established have a major advantage over smaller, new clubs. Fairer processes would ensure that an audit is done on facilities and then based on need and demand, resources would be allocated. Sinn Féin’s proposals will ensure that everyone gets a fair chance and a fair opportunity to reach their full potential.
This paper outlines Sinn Féin’s call for the government to halt incoherent and ill-timed plans to cut the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and to transition people from the PUP to Jobseekers on 7th September, despite some sectors still being closed due to public health advice. These workers are not jobseekers, they are merely being prevented from returning to their jobs due to public health restrictions. Sinn Féin instead advocate the continuation of PUP at current rates, to be reviewed quarterly.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s plan to expand the school transport system which would see an additional 17,000 seats funded on the School Transport Scheme in the next academic year and the elimination of fees over a five-year government term, removing the yearly stress for thousands of families trying to secure a seat on their local school bus. Sinn Féin’s plans would add more buses and routes, reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector, cut back school costs for families, and encourage the use of public transport from a young age.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals to modernise gambling regulations in the South, making them fit-for-purpose to tackle problem gambling in 2021. Current legislation is decades out of date and has failed to keep pace with the online world, resulting in our young people in particular being exposed to often predatory forms of online advertising and gambling. Sinn Féin’s policies would see real regulation on advertising, a social fund to support gambling addiction services, a ban on gambling with credit cards and other real protections for those harmed by gambling.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals to tackle back to school costs to give parents a break and to ensure that equal educational outcomes can be secured for all children regardless of their family’s income. Sinn Féin’s policies would increase per-pupil funding across schools and would see free hot meals for all children in DEIS primary schools and free school books for all children rolled out over a five-year government term.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s strategy to bring vacant homes in Cork back into the housing stock for the thousands on the social housing waiting lists and the tens of thousands locked out of home ownership. Sinn Féin’s plan involves conducting a complete audit of all vacant stock and setting multi-annual targets for the return of these, renovating and giving out social houses as soon as they become vacant in a fast-tracked voids scheme among other ambitious policies which will bring homes in Cork back to use and start solving this Housing Crisis.
This policy report investigates the use of social clauses in public procurement and outlines a strategy for a new approach to procurement in the South to maximise the social value that can arise from the spending of public money. The report examines how social clauses in procurement contracts can be used to support environmental goals, to increase labour standards, labour activation and the creation of apprenticeships/ training, or to promote the participation of SMEs and those from marginalised groups in order to ensure that public spending promotes the public good.
This document outlines a €914m package of proposals to boost spending on the health service in order to drastically shorten waiting lists and ensure the system is prepared to meet the demands of catch-up care post-Covid. Sinn Féin’s plan includes policies to increase the number of beds, to fill consultant posts and to hire additional hospital staff among other detailed, fully-costed and deliverable proposals to end the scandal of waiting lists and ensure patients get the timely healthcare they need.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s vision to promote an all-island cooperative approach for our fishing industry that seeks a fair allocation of the national fishery resource to all of our coastal communities. This includes full fishing rights to the waters around this island and equal access to piers, harbours and ports for fishermen that are resident on this island and to work towards the harmonisation of fishery licensing and regulation on the island.
This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposals to protect the not-for-profit, community-based model of the Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs in response to the government’s shocking decision to continue with the tender for a new for-profit employment service model which could push people into unsuitable, short-term positions. Instead, Sinn Féin propose scaling up existing employment services to ensure areas which do not currently have LES or Job Clubs can avail of these high-quality services, integrating Job Clubs into the current model of LES, and continuing community-based wrap-around supports in order to ensure the availability of decent employment services for all.
This policy document outlines Sinn Féin's proposals which would deliver a much-needed and long-overdue reform of the healthcare system to ensure women and girls can get access to the appropriate, modern services that they need in a timely way. The policies include ending maternity restrictions for partners and supporting individuals, ensuring full public ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital, plans for a universal contraception scheme for young women aged 17 to 25 among other clear, detailed, and deliverable proposals to meet women’s needs.