by orsola casagrande | 15th February 2016 9:48 am
Launching the 2016 Dáil election manifesto, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams described it as a “Plan for change, a plan for a sustainable and fair recovery”.
Adams said that Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said he wants Ireland to be the best place in the world to do business in. “We are more ambitious for our people,” the Sinn Féin leader said. “We want Ireland to be the best place to grow up in, to grow old in, to enjoy life in.”
Adams added that “For the first time since the foundation of this state, there is an opportunity to elect a progressive, Sinn Féin-led Government which place the rights of citizens at the centre of Government decision making”.
Answering to those media claiming the republican party has no or little experience in government, Adams stressed that “Sinn Féin is in Government in the North where our Executive team led by Martin McGuinness has introduced progressive politics onto the agenda at Stormont” and added: “In Government with our unionist partners, Sinn Féin has promoted partnership, reconciliation, equality and inclusion. We are defending the rights of citizens, protecting the vulnerable and building prosperity and jobs. Sinn Féin – concluded Adams – wants to be in Government in this state too.”
The manifesto, For a Fair Recovery/Nios Fearr Le Sinn Féin, focuses, in 50 pages, on Public Services as well as finance and rural areas. Adams said that Sinn Féin stands by the the vision of the men and women who staged the Easter Rising not just to free Ireland from the shackles of the British Empire but to build a Republic – a new Ireland where people were citizens, not subjects. 100 years on, Sinn Féin stands by those objectives,” he said.
Adams also confirmed that “A Sinn Féin Government will formally recognise the State of Palestine.”
Key points in Sinn Féin’s plan include:-
A move from the two-tier, public-private system to a universal health service, free at the point of delivery to all citizens as a right;
Building 100,000 social and affordable homes and guaranteeing rent certainty;
Delivering 250,000 jobs over the next five years, including 188,000 from projected economic growth identified by the Department of Finance.
The party would also seek to deliver a referendum on a united Ireland, introduce Northern representation to the Dáil, and extend Presidential voting rights to citizens in the North and the Diaspora. Sinn Féin will introduce a Green Paper on Irish unity.
Accusing the Fine Gael/Labour Government of doing “immense damage” to the Irish language, Sinn Féin would appoint a senior Cabinet minister with responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and An Gaeilge and a permanent Joint Oireachtas Committee for Gaeltacht Affairs and the Irish Language.
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