The Social Democrats have launched their alternative budget, with a call for the Government to focus on ‘Survival and Revival’ across economic and social life.

The party is calling for a focus on protecting jobs and incomes, strengthening public services, and investing to offer people hope in the future.

The party’s pre-budget document lays out a number of priorities which it says should guide Budget 2021. These are:

·       Fund 150 ICU beds
·       Establish a commission on the introduction of a statutory right to flexible work, including a 4-day week
·       Targeted supports for business sectors most impacted by Covid-19
·       Properly fund mental health services
·       Establish a national sick pay scheme
·       Maintaining PUP payments

The document also lays out a number of revenue raising measures, which the Social Democrats have repeatedly highlighted as options for Government at budget time.

Commenting, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said:                         

“This has to be a budget like no other. We need to ensure that the budget offers hope – hope that incomes can be sustained, jobs can be protected, and the economy can be revived. This is why our budget lays out policies which support a job rich recovery. We are clear that there must be an unprecedented investment in job protection and job creation.

“We strongly support the introduction of a national sick pay scheme. We have identified the roll out of 150 ICU beds as a key priority. Putting Ireland on a clear path to Sláintecare is an imperative, including fully resourced mental health services. Now, more than ever, the case for a healthcare service that works for all is resolutely clear. Alongside the Covid-19 pandemic a second crisis rages on in housing. Addressing this has to be a clear focus of Budget 2021.”

Commenting, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“Covid-19 has showed up many of the weaknesses of our society and our economy. That is why we want to revive our country, as well as put establish the investment necessary to build a better future. Our proposals lay out what needs to be done to create a far more resilient, fair and secure society.

“We want to fully embrace the role of an active, social democratic state to ensure that economic development and secure job creation will be a priority over deficit reduction. Equally important is ensuring decent quality of life for everyone through investment in universal public services. Now is the time for investment in balanced economic development and capital spending projects which can fuel a sustainable social and economic model.

“The pandemic has exposed huge cracks in our public services. We need to revive our country through appropriate investment in high-quality public services to make up for decades of underinvestment. The economic priority needs to be on a job led recovery.”

October 9, 2020

Note to editors:
You can access the full Social Democrats Pre-Budget document here

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