Fianna Fáil to abolish Irish Water until 2021 if elected

Party’s manifesto includes increases in Garda recruitment numbers and child benefit

The lifespan of some political manifesto falls somewhere between a sickly green-fly and a bar mat. Can politicians believe in it? And why do its promises disintegrate so quickly?

 

Fianna Fáil has committed to abolishing Irish Water and water charges until 2021 if elected to Government.

The party has launched its manifesto confirming it will increase the state pension, scrap prescription charges and increase child benefit.

It commits to increasing Garda numbers to 15,000 and retaining the Special Criminal Court.

Leader Micheál Martin said the party has made it clear that the system must be fixed before it would introduce water charges.

He said it would review that position in 2021 before making any decision on the need for the levies.

Mr Martin said the manifesto shows there is an alternative to the Fine Gael/Labour Government.

He said: “There is a fairer approach which shows how we can have a strong economy and a decent society.”

The party will introduce a €2,000 euro child care tax credit, a reduction in the average class size to 23:1, remove the Universal Social Charge for earners up to 80,000 euro.

Mr Martin insisted the party has learned the lessons from the past and is ready to be in Government.

Fianna Fáil will also freeze student fees for the next five years and introduce legislation to make cyber bullying a crime.