#GE16: The last word from the parties on red-line issues

In a series of questions, the parties and candidates outline where they stand on the main issues as General Election 2016 draws to a close.

QUESTION: Can you highlight three policy initiatives whose achievement will be red-line issues for you and your party / grouping if given sufficient mandate by the electorate to enter government?

AAA/PBP: Paul Murphy (Candidate in Dublin South West)

Abolition of the water charges and property tax.

A massive programme of social and affordable home building, using the resources of NAMA to build sufficient homes to resolve the housing crisis.

A referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.

Fianna Fáil: Billy Kelleher – (Candidate in Cork North Central)

Our priority in government is focusing on improving public services and giving ordinary working families a break. This focus will be our red line in government.

Fianna Fáil is committed to such major policy initiatives as a €30 increase in the pension, the abolition of water charges, removing the USC for workers up to €80,000, lowering the pupil teacher ratio to 23:1, establishing a €2,000 childcare tax credit, building 45,000 new social housing units and increasing Gardaí to 15,000.

Fine Gael: Simon Coveney – (Candidate in Cork South Central)

Fine Gael has a Long Term Economic Plan based on three key steps; more and better jobs, making work pay and investing in better services. Achieving these three goals is a red line issue for us. In order to do this we are committed to establishing a new €4bn ‘Future Jobs Investment Fund’; to abolishing the USC, completing the equalisation of tax for the self-employed and hiring an additional 10,000 frontline staff to improve services.

Green Party: Eamon Ryan – (Candidate in Dublin Bay South)

We would not support any party that would not develop a National Plan, linking the economic development, society and the environment in a coordinated, long term way. This plan would show us where to build houses, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and help power regional development, and bring life back into towns and villages. Investment in education and housing are of high importance to the Party.

Labour: Tánaiste Joan Burton – (Candidate in Dublin West)

We don’t approach election issues in terms of red lines. We have areas that are priorities for us: creating jobs; ensuring that more people begin to feel the recovery; and easing the USC burden on low and middle income families.

RENUA Ireland: Paul Bradford (Candidate in Cork East)

Three of RENUA Irelands red-line issues will consist of fundamental reform of our childcare system, the need to build a system that supports honest politics and a Flat Tax Commission which will allow us unwind the tendrils of one of the worst taxation systems across Western Europe.

Ultimately our defining red-line is good governance where politics acts in the interests of the citizen rather than well placed cronies and vested interests.

Sinn Féin: Gerry Adams – (Candidate in Louth)

1. Abolition of water charges.

2. Abolition of property tax.

3. A campaign for the holding of a referendum on a United Ireland.

Social Democrats: Ken Curtin – (Candidate in Cork East)

We have consistently started throughout this campaign that we would not go down the road of naming red line issues and I’m not going to start now!

Our position remains in terms of coalition we are ruling no one in or out however we will be no one’s mud guard.

What we have also said from the outset is we will only enter a government that pursues a very different direction to the current one and social democratic principles would need to be at its heart as they are in many thriving economies elsewhere.

Source: ​Answers supplied to irishexaminer.com on Wednesday, February 24 as part of a #GE16 Q&A​