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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 1 December 2020

Here's what Enda and Joan have promised to do

Jobs, housing and wages, mostly.

JOBS, HOUSING AND a tax cut.

Those were some of the priorities set out by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, as the cabinet reshuffle were announced.

The meetings all week, the discussions and the argument have been boiled down to a refocusing of the Programme for Government.

In his speech, Enda Kenny said that the new policy document would focus on:

  • A tax cut in the form of a change to the USC
  • 25,000 agri-food jobs
  • 60,000 construction jobs
  • 50,000 tourism jobs
  • A government-run voucher scheme to help online businesses trade online

Kenny said that the government would now focus on making an economic recovery felt around the country.

We intend to make sure that recovery is felt and deeply in every city, town and village across this country. Yes, Ireland has been through the wars. There isn’t a family in any part that hasn’t been affected.

“But my message here today is that already, we’re in recovery things are getting better and we intend now to make sure they get better for everyone.”

Taking the floor for the first time since the deal was struck, Tánaiste Joan Burton said that she wanted to focus on:

  • Tax reform
  • Social housing
  • Political reform
  • Marriage equality legislation

Burton said that Labour was focused on addressing the housing crisis, even saying that Labour had focused on getting the Environment portfolio for Alan Kelly to do so.

“In recent weeks, I made it abundantly clear that a Labour priority in the remainder of this Government’s term would be to deliver a major social and affordable housing programme.

And housing will be the number one priority of the Department of the Environment for the remainder of this Government’s term.

“We will set in train a construction programme to triple the number of houses built to 25,000 a year by 2020.”

Burton said that the agenda was “ambitious”, but said a “window of opportunity” was open and must be used.

“This vital window of opportunity must not be lost, because the people of this country suffered hugely as a result of a crisis they did not cause, endured while this Government implemented the necessary policies to end it, and now must feel the benefits of the recovery in their lives.”

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