Aontú have launched their first Pre Budget Submission this morning in advance of the Budget tomorrow.

The Leader of Aontú Peadar Tóibín TD, for Meath West

stated;

“We are faced with an absolutely unprecedented crisis in terms of the health, social, economic, political and psychological wellbeing of Ireland. Our principal goals for the 2021 Budget are to;

•             protect life and health,

•             protect the personally and economically vulnerable,

•             promote and safeguard employment

•             to scaling up key public services to meet the onslaught of demands triggered by the crises”.

“Aontú believe that that the best way to achieve these goals is to strengthen significantly the health service. We seek to add 1,310 new hospital beds to the Health service. This will include 110 new ICU and Critical Care beds plus the necessary staff. We seek to strengthen Test, Track and Trace services to chase down and isolate the illness”.

“We believe that we must do all that is necessary to avoid any further restrictions being imposed on the country.  The cost of these restrictions in terms of excess morbidity and mortality because of the significant reductions in Health service capacity plus increased isolation, mental health issues, financial stress and of course the collapse of whole swathes of our economy may well be more than Covid-19 itself. We seek a Covid-19 Impact Commission in order to ascertain the true costs of the Covid-19 restrictions. Currently the government is working blind without this information and this must change”.

“Aontú is also seeking a New Ireland Forum. The Forum would start work in order to mitigate against the worst excesses of Brexit, to fight Covid-19 on an All Ireland Basis and develop the process of economic and service convergence in both parts of the country”.

“Aontú seeks to invest €40m into the development of Remote Working Hubs in order to allow people work in safer conditions, reduce long commutes and breathe new life into regional towns and villages. We have proposed €590m in significant supports into the Hospitality Sector which has been hammered by the Covid crisis todate”.

“The crisis in Housing and Transport have not disappeared and as a pro investment party we have sought to tackle these crisis and allow for a significant stimulus into the economy. We seek an investment of €2.2bn in the building of 10,000 new social houses and an extra €1.1bn in critical transport projects”.

“Aontú proposes the creation of a publicly-owned Irish Green Bank. This new initiative would be instrumental in ensuring that families, communities and small businesses are afforded the necessary financial supports as part of a just transition to a green economy. It is envisioned that this Bank would come into existence and operation by the end of 2021. Initial funding to establish the bank is estimated to cost €50 Million”.

“It is time to be bold and to take initiatives that would have been unthinkable six months ago. We are backing an All-island Recovery Fund that would be used to rebuild the wreckage caused by Brexit, Covid and political incompetence. This could the subject of negotiation at European level involving the EU, the Irish Government and the British Government. The Irish Government should stand ready to step up to the challenge”.

“Our budget submission focuses on protecting the health of the nation. It seeks to eliminate the inequality and division that plagues and underscores far too much of Irish society. Our proposals aim to deliver a prosperous, healthy Ireland of opportunity. Our efforts focus on achieving an Ireland where mothers are not living in doorways on our streets, where young families can afford a house, have full access to healthcare and to decent education and have access to good sustainable jobs”.