What we stand for

Our priorities for the future

We seek a society underpinned by

  • Equality for all
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Accountability from those in power
  • Participation by people in decision making that impacts on them
  • Solidarity between all sectors of society

A new Programme for Government should give practical expression to these five values.

We seek progress on six policy priorities

A new Programme for Government should progress each of these priorities.

A sustainable alternative to our boom-and-bust economy

Ireland’s flawed model of development was the fundamental cause of the current crisis. It depended upon unsustainable use of our resources. There was poor planning and lax enforcement. Unregulated speculation and the pursuit of individual profit took precedence over equality and solidarity. We now need:

  • A strategy for development that achieves economic security, and social and environmental sustainability
  • A means, other than GDP, to measure our sustainable progress towards these goals

A more equal society

Inequality in Ireland is high. There is growing evidence that such high levels of inequality are bad not just for those on low incomes but also for the economy and for society in general. We now need:

  • Welfare, taxation and income policies which are capable of ensuring greater equality between the rich and the poor
  • A minimum level of income that is adequate and ensures people can live in dignity
  • A socially acceptable ratio between maximum and minimum incomes

Change in the way we govern ourselves

The Dáil, Seanad and local government have become increasingly irrelevant to the needs and hopes of most people. People do not have meaningful opportunities to participate in public decision-making. We now need:

  • Political reform to enhance accountability, equality, capacity, and efficiency of national and local decision making
  • Systems by which citizens can participate directly in those decisions which impact on their lives and communities
  • Means to enable civil society organizations to effectively articulate the needs of disadvantaged
  • and marginalized communities

Decent and sustainable jobs

Work is important, both as a way of accessing income and of making a contribution to our society. We now need:

  • A substantial targeted investment package to create sustainable employment in the environmental sector and in the social economy

Radical reform of the banking system

Banks were allowed to become isolated from the real economy. They were driven by desire for excessive profits and offered exaggerated rewards to staff who engaged in activities which were risky not only to the bank but to society in general. We now need:

  • A banking system to fulfil the purpose of guaranteeing credit to sustainable local enterprises and communities
  • A bank regulatory culture and system which prohibits speculative banking and excessive rewards

Reform of our public services

Quality public services, available on a universal basis where appropriate, play a central role in offering equal access to life chances and quality of life to all . We now need:

  • Efficiency, integration, and equality as the goals of public service reform
  • Systems of universal provision of healthcare, care for children and older people
  • Equality on access to and participation in all levels of education from pre-school to university