The Green Party wants to see a new sustainable economy which protects workers and taxes all business fairly.
The Green Party has a strong vision for the economy based on its principles of sustainability, justice and localism. Ireland’s present economic strategy actively encourages the boom-and-bust cycle, causing cost-of-living and economic inequality issues followed by crashes that invariably hurt the most vulnerable. We favour a circular economy where, instead of the disposable model, employ recycling and regeneration to the greatest possible extent.
We believe that top-quality public services and infrastructure require as broad and stable a tax base as possible. The greater part of the burden of taxation should fall on those most able to afford it. Large multinational companies must be taxed appropriately to ensure that they contribute to the economy they benefit from.
Co-operative & ethical businesses
- Facilitate the creation of cooperative businesses.
- Ensure civil and public service purchasing is Fairtrade and based on sustainable production.
- Incentivise a circular economy with a focus on recycling and regeneration.
The Green Party would introduce legislation to facilitate the conversion of private business into worker-owned cooperatives. This would be especially appropriate for businesses that may not be able to continue to generate adequate profits to attract outside investment, e.g. shops, post offices and other socially important businesses in rural locations. The Green Party believes that all trade within our economy should operate within the principles of ethical partnership and reduction in the consumption of resources.
A public banking model
- Introduce a not-for-profit public banking model, along the lines of the Sparkassen banking system in Germany.
- Provide commercial loans for Irish SMEs at an attractive rate, on a regional basis.
The Green Party advocates the establishment of ten regional public banks, under the ownership of local authorities and state support agencies. The not-for-profit nature of these banks would allow these banks to focus on local enterprise lending. Deposits raised within a regional area would be lent in the same area, thus ensuring more balanced regional development.
An innovative digital economy
- Provide greater tax incentives for technology start-ups.
- Ensure a secure and inexpensive broadband service is available to all parts of the country.
- Introduce a digital bill of rights for citizens.
Ireland has the potential to lead the way in technology innovation. We want to do more to support digital entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. Providing infrastructure in the form of digital hubs would enable access to the digital economy from all parts of the country. The government must do more to protect its citizens’ data, while equipping them to be digitally active. We believe that people should have the right to control their online identity, including the right to easily remove their information from the internet.
Strengthen legislation regarding Corporate Criminal Liability and Sanctions
Propose Inclusive and Sustainable Companies Act mainly in line with the 2018 Law Reform Commission Report on regulatory powers and corporate offences, having the following four components:
- Adopt the “Attribution Model” where corporate liability attaches to the corporate body and the person(s) who authorised and/or enabled an unlawful act.
- Establish a multidisciplinary Corporate Crime Agency (similar in structure to the Criminal Assets Bureau) with powers to assist the regulatory agencies and investigate and bring criminal prosecutions for corporate offences.
- Establish a Common Structure of Regulatory Powers for all present and future Regulatory Authorities.
- Amend the current classes set out in the Fines Act 2010 so that judges can impose financial penalties in proportion to the size of the company.