Sinn Féin General Election Manifesto 2016

Page 49

For a fair recovery | 49



We will provide an additional 1,000 SNAs to the ECCE Programme and additional needs training for all childcare employees working with children with special needs.

Quality and regulation

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We will increase capitation grants for the Free Pre-School Year by €5 per week to €67.50, and by €9.50 for the higher capitation rate to €82.50. We will open up the Community Childcare Scheme so that the funding follows the child, not the setting. We will extend the Community Childcare Subvention scheme by making subsidised places available in privately run early-years services. We will implement the immediate rollout of Síolta and Aistear through County Childcare Committees (CCCs). We will ensure consistency in reporting standards and cooperation between investigating services and care providers to ensure quality and standards can be achieved in provision. We will review supporting agencies to ensure that they are sufficiently funded and to eliminate any duplication of work. We will increase the number of Tusla inspectors by 30%. We will move to a person-centred, not servicecentred approach to vetting, providing a timelimited passport-type document to ensure continued monitoring of individuals’ suitability for working with children, but also to ease the burden of re-vetting for each new position.

The Environment Sinn Féin is committed to reaching the State’s renewable energy targets for 2020. The State has committed to generating 16% of its overall energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020. Sinn Féin will introduce measures to grow renewable energy production and to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions. This will require involvement from the State and at community level. In addition, in this term of government, we want to address the issue of flood defences. Our capital expenditure commitment for water and flood investment is outlined in our jobs section.

Energy costs


We will install a dedicated route to the national energy grid for community projects. We will ensure that all energy projects are subject to the Strategic Environment Assessment; that a Feed-in-Tariff is made available for Solar PV

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electricity; and that a fair export tariff is given for electricity from micro-generation, with the carbon-offset contribution recognised. We will invest in retrofitting of housing as a means of carbon reduction and tackling fuel poverty. In the first instance this will mean extending the warmer homes scheme to windows and doors. We will oppose any further privatisation of state energy assets.

Sustainable energy

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We will keep Ireland free of fracking and nuclear power. We will bring the Sinn Féin Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014 to committee and remaining stages and introduce proper regulation of wind turbines. We will bring in staged tax measures on offshore oil and gas fields, as outlined by the report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture. We will engage with climate change experts to set specific targets and create a roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions. We will then develop an interdepartmental strategy to meet carbon emissions reduction targets, and ensure there is innovation in the green economy, the provision of public transportation and so forth.

Flood defences


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We will regulate planning to prevent areas being built on or developed which are at risk of flooding, and we will ensure government investment in flood defences. All planning decisions will fully comply with EU directives on flood mapping to tackle high-risk areas. We will invest in our water and sewerage, drainage and coastal infrastructure. We will introduce measures to militate against climate change and its effects, including rising sea levels, storms, coastal flooding, etc. We will address the market failure of the insurance industry and political failure of the government through its lack of State intervention to provide affordable, capped insurance cover to domestic households and SME properties against high flood risk. This will involve looking at a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the insurance industry (similar to Britain), operating within EU State Aid rules, which commits insurers to make flood insurance for high-risk elements available to domestic households and SME properties. We will establish a single Shannon River Authority to ensure that there is proper coordination of and a robust response from the various agencies responsible when flooding occurs and also that necessary steps are taken to minimise the risk of flooding in the future.

General Election Manifesto 2016

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