The Social Democrats today published a Budget2020 document which has prioritised key domestic issues which the party says must be tackled regardless of the current or future Brexit situation.

SocDems Budget2020 priorities are:

• Freeze Rents Nationwide
• End Home-Care Waiting Lists
• A National Home Retrofit Programme
• Better Funding for Disability Services
• End Tax Favouritism for Cuckoo Funds

Co-Leaders Róisín Shortall & Catherine Murphy said that Brexit has been used as a curtain behind which this Government is hiding it’s failures to adequately addressing pressing domestic policy issues including health, housing, adequate disability service provision and public transport and cycling supports.

The party leaders acknowledged that Brexit weighs heavily on budget calculations this year but repeated their belief that a number of areas have to be addressed on the domestic front immediately and that Government must agree to a second budget early next year so as to properly set out a clear budgetary agenda when the deal or no deal Brexit scenario is clear.

Róisín Shortall TD said:

“While there are obviously lots of issues that need to be tackled in this budget, the reality is that Brexit uncertainty is undoubtedly an issue. However that cannot continue to bean excuse for inaction on a number of critical fronts and there are some key areas that simply must be addressed no matter what external factors are at play. As a result, the Social Democrats approach to Budget2020 has been to strategically target those areas and ensure vital resourcing is provided in order to immediately improve situations which simply cannot be allowed to continue or indeed deteriorate even further.

“There can be no excuse, including Brexit, for allowing a worsening of the current housing crisis. We have got to provide for affordable housing options immediately – our proposals to establish a Housing Delivery Agency as well as a number of actions for the private rental sector can help accelerate this. Similarly in health; we cannot continue to watch people struggle to survive for the want of an adequate homecare package.  For those desperately in need of autism supports, special needs school places, disability services and supports, Brexit is simply not a good enough excuse for the vulnerable position such families find themselves in.”

Catherine Murphy TD said:

“This Government cannot continue to greenwash whilst refusing to adequately fund quality functioning public transport and cycling options.  We are in gridlock situation and apart from the very serious climate implications of this there is also a significant negative impact on overall quality of life for people and their physical and mental health.

We believe Budget2020 must make urgent provisions in these areas with a view to revisiting the budget process early next year when there is a clearer understanding of the eventual Brexit outcome.”

ENDS

3rd October 2019

Download SocDems Alternative Budget2020