Green Party manifesto features universal basic income

Updated / Saturday, 25 Jan 2020 20:01

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan (C) was at the launch of his parties manifesto today

By Dyane Connor

A universal basic income, free public transport for students and light rail systems for Cork and Galway are amongst the promises being made by the Green Party. 

In its manifesto being launched in Dublin, the Green Party is proposing fundamental changes in energy generation, transport policy, industry, land use, taxation, planning and housing.

The Green Party believes the current system of social welfare payments should be reformed and is proposing a system of universal basic income through gradual reform of the tax and welfare system.

The Greens also pledge to introduce measures to allow for the deep retrofitting of 75,000 houses per annum as recommended by the Climate Change Advisory Council. 

The party's manifesto says around 1 million Irish homes have oil fired central heating systems and the majority of these will be replaced heat pump or renewable alternatives over the next decade.

In order to achieve this there will be apprenticeship programmes to train the 20,000 workers that will be needed.

The party says one of its first tasks would be to work with the European Commission in the development of the National Energy and Climate Action Plan for 2030, so that Ireland can play its part in delivering on the commitments it has signed up to in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Green Party election candidate Neasa Hourigan said: "This manifesto is a call to action, we have lost a decade but we're asking the electorate today to vote for a new decade of change."

The party is promising to overhaul the transport system saying a long history of bad planning has led to urban sprawl and a hostile environment for cyclists and pedestrians. 

The party is pledging 10% of the capital transport budget for walking and 10% for cycling and says the remainder will be split 2:1 in favour of public transport over road building and maintenance. 

It will introduce free public transport for students and pilot a €365 public transport annual pass based on structure first introduced in the Austrian capital Vienna  in 2013.

It will extend Leap card provisions beyond its' current boundaries and introduce a one-tag system for multi-leg journey's where the passenger can  go in any direction on any public transport for two hours after using a leap card. 

The party wants wider footpaths in villages and cities, more zebra crossings, cycling parking and storage at rail and coach hubs. 

The party is promising new wardens patrolling the streets fining for parking and dog fouling.

It wants new buses to be 100% electric or low emission hybrid and increased train speeds on intercity routes to compete better with car journey times

The party says it will support the development of a light rail system in Cork and Galway and review all derelict train lines around the country with a view to reopening them.

The party wants all new public buildings to have Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points and says there should be charging stations at every service station.

To pay for its proposals the Green Party is recommending: