GE2020 - Economy for People - Green Party

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Towards 2020: A Decade of Change

Economy for People

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Our economic success is dependent on a healthy, vibrant society and a regenerative environmental system. To ensure that these key ingredients are available for the economy of the future, we need to address the climate and biodiversity crisis. We believe that every person and every place matters in making this process fair. The transition will require the input of workers, business people, farmers, carers, educators and students to name a few. The scale of the challenge ahead of us immense, but to be successful we as policymakers will need to engage with communities at every turn.

Building our indigenous business sector

Our economy has become too reliant on unstable corporation tax revenues from large multinational corporations. Our policy is to nurture the development of a thriving indigenous business sector to broaden our corporate tax base and to achieve balanced regional development across the country. We will:

  • Restructure corporate research and development tax reliefs to encourage greater investment in third level institutions and to make them more accessible to small and medium-sized Irish enterprises.
  • Change the remit of Enterprise Ireland (EI) to support small companies that cannot be easily scaled. EI should help companies to invest in green and efficient equipment.
  • Place a greater emphasis on allowing SME competition for public service contracts via a Public Procurement Ombudsman.
  • Work with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to extend their Future Growth Loan Scheme.
  • Grant a capital gains tax exemption for the Employment Incentive and Investment scheme (EIIS) to encourage investors to finance risky but worthy start-ups.
  • Introduce incentives to encourage innovation and diversity in online business models to provide alternatives to exploitative data harvesting as ways to generate revenue online.

A just transition to a fair economy

Just Transition is a vital piece in the Climate Justice puzzle. It is about ensuring that no worker or community is left behind as we take the action that is urgently needed to create a better, safer, more sustainable future.

  • Enact our Just Transition Bill to establish a new service which will work within a new form of social partnership, bringing affected communities, trade unions, businesses, climate transition experts and government together to see how we can overcome obstacles to a fair transition
  • Charge Bord na Móna with taking lead in this transition to a green economy in the Midlands. This would involve the development of training and job opportunities in a variety of fields such as peatland restoration, home retrofitting, green construction and novel horticultural activities involving the productive use of wetlands.
  • Support the vital role that trade unions can play in ensuring that workers have access to further training and education and that their rights and interests are upheld.

Financing the transition

We need to reform the way we raise the tax we need to finance the massive investment that is needed to address the challenges of the future. We will:

  • Design a Site Value Tax to incentivise land and property improvement. This would help to ease the housing crisis and would raise money in a fair and progressive way.
  • End all fossil fuel subsidies
  • Support proposals for a European Financial Transactions Tax, especially on speculative investments such as hedge funds and derivatives.
  • Set up a new Commission on Tax and Welfare to advise on the reforms needed to prepare Ireland for future macroeconomic, demographic and environmental challenges.