News & Media

Only Labour has the Real Solutions for Change

5 February 2020

Speech by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Remarks by Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin as the General Election campaign enters the final 3 days.

With 3 days to go in this Election the Labour Party has one central message to voters

If you want to stop the waste of public money, build homes and fix health the Labour Party and our 31 candidates are your No. 1 choice on Saturday.

Labour is putting forward real solutions that are practical, costed and implementable.

These are real solutions for change.

We have prioritised two key areas in this election: building homes and fixing health. 

These are the top concerns of voters.

We want a five-year €16 billion social and affordable home building programme that will deliver 80,000 homes. 

Investment of this scale and ambition is necessary to end homelessness and offer families secure, affordable homes.

Labour will bring in a rent freeze for three years and much stronger rent control.

Labour has also prioritised radical reform in health. We would immediately lift the recruitment embargo and make use of the facilities we already have like MRI scanners and empty wards that are closed due to lack of staff.

We will invest an additional €1 billion of new money per year in the health service.

Labour has made a clear choice in this election. A choice to deliver real solutions, not to seek to con the voters.

We believe the priority for the next five years must be building homes and fixing health.

We haven’t engaged in the auction politics of the three parties you heard from last night. 

They are trying to fool people by promising big tax giveaways alongside massive public spending. Only Labour is prioritising public investment in health and housing.

And today we saw thousands take part in protests over the crisis in childcare.

Costs have spiralled over the last four years, for parents and providers while highly qualified staff aren’t given the pay they deserve.

Labour has a plan for a public childcare system, and we want a minimum of a living wage for the professionals working in the sector, and action taken to reduce costs for providers. When a community needs a school, we build it. Our argument is simple - When a community needs childcare, the State should provide it too.  

On Saturday the people will choose the direction that Ireland takes over the next five years. And there is a clear choice.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have followed a market-driven agenda since 2016 and they want more of the same. 

Both look to the private sector to solve public problems.

It’s not working and people know it. We need change.

Labour has been clear, honest and straightforward in our vision for a fairer Ireland.

We’ll stop the waste of public money, build homes and fix health.

Over the next five years we will prioritise housing, our health service, childcare, workers’ rights and climate action.

Labour is the one major party in this election that is not promising huge spending increases and massive tax giveaways. We won’t do it because it isn’t credible. It’s a con job.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are all engaging in auction politics. Trying to cut taxes and invest in services. You can’t spend the same euro twice. 

There is a real danger that, in a desperate bid for votes, these parties are going to weaken the public finances again, promise the earth and put us on the same road that led to the collapse of our country in 2008.

Labour is different. 

We’ve been clear about our priorities and how we will pay for them. 

We want change. On Saturday vote for change, vote for real solutions, vote for Labour.

ENDS