What will Fine Gael do differently? February 2011 Sligo, WIT, Laois, UCC & More….. Keeping Talent At Home 1 Chance, 5 Reasons NELECTIO SP ECIAL Once in a generation, a decision can be taken that will alter the course of a Nation for years to come. Since 1997, Fianna Fail have taken de- cisions which, sadly, were the wrong decisions. They have brought this Country to the brink and only now, will the Irish people have the opportunity to pull our great country back from the edge of the abyss. Members of YFG have walked the roads and knocked on the doors, mostly in heavy rain and high winds these past few weeks to bring a message of hope to the people of Ireland. A message of opportunity and most importantly, a plan. A plan to take 45,000 young people off the Live Register within one year. A plan to stem the scourge of emigration that is afflicting our family and friends. A plan to create jobs and give hope to a Nation. A plan for equal access to third level education and a plan to reform the political structures of the State. A Plan to take on the vested interests and a plan to cut twice as much in waste as we will raise in taxation. A plan ambitious for the country and its people. Once in a generation a decision can be taken. On February 25th, the Irish people will decide. We have the opportunity to bring Ireland back from the brink. Decisions are made by those who turn up, on February 25th there is 1 CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR FUTURE Young Fine Gael Informer; edited by Graham Dullaghan, Director of Communications
OUR COUNTRY OUR FUTURE WE’VE ALREADY GIVEN BILLIONS TO THE BANKS: WHAT WILL FINE GAEL DO DIFFERENTLY?Aim: a well-regulated, competitive, profitable, and privately-owned banking system. Crucially,given that the taxpayer has bailed out the banks, we believe the banks must now act in theirinterests. The banks must go to work for the negative equity generation. • Increasing mortgage interest relief to generate savings of up to €166 a month; • Cutting bank costs to avoid interest rate hikes for the consumer; • Ensuring that fraudulent bankers are pursued for their crimes and face the law; • Shutting down Anglo Irish Bank and INBS before the end of the year; • Making bond-holders share the burden of the debts of insolvent financial institutions. • Introducing a partial loan guarantee scheme for small & medium businesses; • Supporting the sale of AIB and the EBS;Under Fine Gael, we will prevent the banks from ever again holding the country to ransom. FINE GAEL COMMITTED TO PROTECTING FRONTLINE SERVICESA key element of Fine Gael’s 5 Point Plan to get Ireland Working is to modernise our public services and rewardeffort and innovation while penalising waste and inefficiency. Fine Gael’s Enterprise Spokesman, RichardBruton.states: “In a time of austerity when cuts are being made across the board, Fine Gael is determined to pro-tect vital frontline services in the public sector provided by doctors, nurses, teachers, Gardaí and local authority workers. The extra 18,000 reduction in numbers being proposed by Fine Gael through voluntary redundancy is focused entirely on back office personnel. “Fine Gael recognises that thousands of workers are trapped within a public service that is failing them. Our Reinventing Government plan sets out how we will transform the public sector and make it more stream- lined, efficient and responsive to the public. Key to our plans is our determination to protect frontline ser- vices while making savings elsewhere in the system. The reality is quite stark: if we do not make sav- ings in our public sector, then all staff will end up with their pay being hit or their taxes being hiked. We simply cannot go on with the system the way it is. We believe we can save over €5 billion, or 1 euro in 10 spent by public bodies, by confronting waste, duplication and inefficiency. We recently set out how we anticipate making significant savings through:• Streamlining processes such as by the creation of a Single Public Entitlement Service, Business Inspectorate and Licence Authority • Abolishing over 145 quangos, State bodies and companies; • A one third reduction in civil service back office staff; • Dismantling the HSE; • Streamlining services“As a result of these administrative and bureaucratic cutbacks Fine Gael believes we can, over four years, reduce the numbers on the payroll by10%, or 30,000. Fianna Fáil is committed to a 12,000 reduction over the same period through the impact of the public sector recruitment morato-rium. Our target would require an additional 18,000 reductions, which will be achieved through normal retire-ments and through voluntary redundancies in back office services. There will be no compulsory redundancies.This means, in practice, that over each of the next four years an additional 4,500 administrative positions in thepublic service, State agencies and quangos across Ireland will go.“As part of our employment framework in the public service, and reflecting our plans to streamline back officeservices, Fine Gael is in a position to credibly commit to an increase of almost 2,500 teachers from 2010 by2014 levels in order to maintain current pupil-teacher ratios. Fine Gael has already committed to not increasingincome tax rates, bands or allowances for all workers. In order for us to deliver on this commitment we must make savings across the system. Ifthose savings are to be made we are absolutely committed to protecting the frontline service providers.”
Have your branch activities and meetings included in the Informer. Goings On…. for inclusion in the next edition email submissions to; email@example.com SLIGO TURNS BLUE Sligo IT re-launched on February 1st and a new committee were elected. Liam Maguire takes on the reins of Chairperson with Kenneth OMalley as Secretary. And John Doherty will control the cash as Treasurer. They stated that their immediate priority was to work for their two general election candidates John Perry TD and Cllr. Tony McLoughlin. Following on from this successful launch, Sligo Town YFG launched with Kieran Cawley being elected Chairperson. The other committee members are Vice Chair: Stephen Mullaney, Treasurer: Elaine Brennan and PRO: Cathal Mullaney. Cllr. Tony Mcloughlin spoke passionately at the meeting saying that Enda Kenny is a great Leader and a man of integrity. He said that billions have been put into the banks which has caused huge problems in terms of uncertainty for jobs and it is terrible to see our well educated students going abroad. The new Chairman Kieran Cawley said that he would hit the ground running and support both Fine Gael candidates in the run up to the election and give young people in Sligo a voice and have that voice heard at government level.MUNSTER has been abuzzwith the excitement of this elec-tion. No constituency has beenleft behind by the frenetic effortto reach every door and leave novote behind us. The leader’s tourhas obviously been a focal point of activity for UCC YFG has had a busy few weeksmembers canvassing in many areas and al- since the Christmas break. Membersready Enda Kenny has visited us in Tipperary, have been canvassing across the CorkWaterford and Limerick. No doubt he will soon region with canvassing teams from thevisit Kerry and the rebels in Cork! branch heading out on a daily basisBehind the scenes however there has been a between now and February 25th. Thelot happening too. On the 2nd of February the response has been very positive andUL branch held their EGM, electing Elaine Bren- people are anxious to see a new Fine Gael lead government in power asnan as the new chair of the branch. UCC, never soon as possible. A high profile voter registration campaign took place inone to be left behind started with a “register to January as well as a Fine Gael policy stand on campus in early February.vote campaign” on campus which elicited a lot Lively debates took place on issues from abortion to the re-of interest from students and they have big cent embarrassing collapse of the government.plans to swing more of the student vote before An enjoyable mystery tour went to LimerickFriday next. City in January while a group from UCCI want to take this opportunity to thanks all those were also part of a YFG trip to Brusselswho travelled from all parts to Cork East, sup- with Sean Kelly MEP. With just weeks tillporting Pa O’ Drioscoll on Saturday the 5th of the GeneralFebruary. Pa is a former President and a cur- Election, werent member of Young Fine Gael and we wish hope our nexthim the best of luck in getting elected his first submission will be the first report on the earlytime out! days of a Fine Gael Government!!Keep up the good work and get canvassing! Information submitted by branches to firstname.lastname@example.org—Edited by Graham Dullaghan
Have your branch activities and meetings included in the Informer. Goings On…. for inclusion in the next edition email submissions to; email@example.com W I T Y F G WIT YFG hasn’t stopped in 2011, where they kick started the New Year with an open forum on educational reform, where students from across the campus got into a lengthy debate about the Hunt report, University for the South East and college fees. To follow on from the success of this, they held another open forum – this time on the topic of “GE2011: Why the country needs a Fine Gael majority government”. On top of all this they have been heavily canvassing, day and night, for Waterford’s Paudie Coffey for the General Election and attending the different events to show unhindered support for him including his Cam- paign launch, and the re-launch of the WIT Political Society with their successful GE2011 Candidate Debate which Paudie Cof- fey took part in. The society is run by WIT YFGs very own former chairperson, Kevin O’Sullivan. WIT Young Fine Gael was also the only body on campus to heavily campaign for students to register for the 2011 General Election. WIT YFG continued their campaign daily, handing out over 500 registration forms to students in one week alone. Despite claims, the USI came on campus only once, the day before the deadline. They collected all forms, which re signed by a Guard and manage to mess it all up as a number of students applications were not received in time by their council. To balance all the politics, WIT YFG had time enough for a bit of craic with a big social evening during the colleges Raise and Give Week. It was with regret that our now former secretary, Paidi Manning, recently resigned from the committee following changes to his personal circumstances and election commitments to Kilkenny legend, and election candidate, John Paul Phelan. Frankie Mulqueen has been appointed interim secretary pending an EGM. We are also delighted that Frankie was co-opted onto the Munster Regional Council, as was widely expected. LAOIS YFGThe Laois YFG branchrelaunched last month,just before the election was called! There was a great turnoutat the meeting with frontbench spokesperson CharlieFlanagan addressing the meeting. Also in attendance at themeeting was another Fine Gael candidate for Laois, Cllr. JohnMoron. Congratulations to Deirdre Bonham who was electedChairperson and all members of the committee who have hitthe ground running in County Laois.The branch have been out canvassing right throughout theelection campaign and they are making a real difference to theParty’s efforts to return three Fine Gael Deputies from theLaois/Offaly Constituency. Information submitted by branches to firstname.lastname@example.org—Edited by Graham Dullaghan
OUR COUNTRY OUR FUTURE GETTING IRELAND WORKINGHow it Works KEEPING TALENT AT HOME:Fine Gael will create jobs by stimulating our econ- TACKLING THE SCOURGE OF FORCED EMIGRATIONomy by investing €7bn in key new infrastructureprojects over the coming 4 years. Fine Gael’s 5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working contains a series of measures offering opportunities to thousands of the 100,000 people predicted to emigrate in the next two years. These include;InfrastructureInvestment in our national infrastructure creates 23,000 new internship places for unemployed graduates;tens of thousands of jobs and gives Ireland thefoundations to achieve sustainable and real 17,000 second chance education places for former retail and con-growth. struction workers; The investment will be targeted at 5,000 new Community Employment plans; Energy Broadband 700 guaranteed work placements for apprentices until they com- Water plete their course; Communications An overhauled FÁS that can provide enhanced and targeted train-We will achieve efficiencies by cutting waste: €1 ing opportunities for the over 25s.billion is spent on our water supplies a year; al-most 50% of this water is lost through leaks. Commenting on the plans, Leo Varadkar said: “We are losing our best talent – the very people who want to work and have contributed to the economy. In order to work, these same people have to leave IrelandNational High speed broadband to all parts of our and move to other countries. We must do everything we possibly can to provide jobs, training and place-island will be delivered ment opportunities here at home. Fine Gael is not prepared to lose this talent without a fight.Reduction in costs for businesses “Fine Gael’s National Internship Programme will provideGovernment-imposed red tape on business will 23,000 one year placements in the public service, privatebe cut by €500m sector and voluntary sector for unemployed graduates. IDAIntroducing a new law providing for rent reviews Ireland and Enterprise Ireland will be explicitly mandated toon existing leases develop 5,000 work experience placements in the companiesA reduction in employer PRSI for low paid work- that they support.ersA partial loan guarantee scheme will provided to “We will create 700 apprenticeship guarantee places that willSME’s to create employment. offer unemployed craft apprentices direct employment by45,000 new job placements, training and educa- State agencies or semi-States until their apprenticeship istional opportunities for young people completed.Finances “As part of Fine Gael’s wider public sector reform plans, a single Payments and Entitlements Service willNewERA will cost €7 billion which will come from be established to overhaul the way training is provided for the unemployed. This service will take on thethe national pension reserve fund and from the role of the employment services section. We will introduce a scheme of Training Vouchers so people onsale of assets no longer needed by the state. the dole can access training that meets their individual needs and speed up a return to the workforce. We want to eliminate the practice of forcing unemployed people to attend redundant, unnecessary or unsuit-Timeframe able training courses for the sake of it.”Fine Gael believes that 20,000 jobs a year can becreated. Education and Skills Spokesman Fergus O’Dowd out-The NewERA investments will take place over the lined other employment activation measures, explaining:next 4 years. “Fine Gael will provide for 17,000 second chance educa-Several of our policies can be implemented right tion places. Participants will receive a premium paymentaway. of about €20 per week on top of their social welfare payment, a €500 contribution towards the cost of booksBenefits for you and a completion bonus of around €3,000. This will tar-An economy with more jobs will reduce the get former retail and construction workers who did notbudget deficit and stem the tide of our exploding finish school or go to college.national debt and the steady rise in our youngpeople emigrating. As a more business friendly “Five thousand Community Employment places will be developed for people currently on the live register.country investment in Ireland will increase gener- Fine Gael will reform community employment to make it more market-orientated - more placements inating real wealth. private sector businesses and a greater focus on job search.” “The Fine Gael 5 Point Recovery Plan to get Ireland Working is about facing up to the reality of the disas- DID YOU KNOW? trous economic management by Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fail over recent years. Our future will depend In 1997 when Fine Gael left Government, we were on a Government that knows what needs to be done, is prepared to take the tough decisions but is also creating 1,000 a week having balanced the books clear that talented young, and not so young, Irish people get the opportunities to stay in Ireland as the following another Fianna Fail induced crisis ! journey to recovery begins.”
OUR COUNTRY OUR FUTURE ‘Let’s Get Ireland Working’ – ELECTION MANIFESTO LAUNCHEDFine Gael have launched the Party’s Manifesto, which sets out how Fine Gael willturn its election campaign theme, ‘Let’s Get Ireland Working’, into concrete ac-tion. Speaking at the launch in Dublin, Enda Kenny said: ‘This is a Manifestoabout jobs, about transforming Ireland, and getting Ireland working’.“Every section of the Manifesto has been prepared with a view to maximising jobcreation, growth, and the transformation and modernisation of our public services.This Manifesto sets out how we plan to grow the economy, keep taxes low, elimi-nate waste, and do so while protecting the most vulnerable in our society.“I want Ireland to be the best small country in the world in which to do business,but I also want our public services to be the envy of the world. These objectivesare ambitious, but achievable. What is needed is a plan. Fine Gael has that plan.That is our Five Point Plan to get Ireland Working.“This Manifesto fleshes out the core elements of our policy platform set out in the Five Point Plan, and sets out our agenda if we getelected into government on February 25th. Of key importance in our plans is:• Radical public sector reform to protect frontline services while cutting out waste;• Create thousands of new jobs with a €7 billion investment NewERA plan;• Reduce the Budget deficit to 3% by 2014, and only borrow for investment purposes by 2016;• Overhaul the health service to put patients first and introduce the Dutch system of universal health insurance;• Reduce the number of national politicians by 35%, and abolishing the automatic right to a Ministerial car and driver;• Focus on Budget cuts rather than tax increases; no hikes to income tax or taxes on jobs and protect the 12.5% corporation tax;• Bring rogue bankers to book by stamping out white collar crime;• Protect State pensions and payments to carers, widows, people with disabilities and blind people, and tackle fraud.“The next government must pick up the pieces. It must steer the country away from bankruptcy by solving the debt crisis in a waythat protects the most vulnerable and distributes the burden fairly. Changing the government is a necessary step in restoring confi-dence and beginning a process of re-invention and renewal. Today’s Manifesto, and our Five Point Plan, provide the roadmap tolead our country back to a brighter and more hopeful future.” YFG ENDORSE FG IRISH LANGUAGE POLICYSpeaking about Fine Gaels plans to reform the way Irish is taught, Young Fine Gael (YFG) President, EricKeane, fully endorsed the plan to invigorate the Irish language and the manner in which it is taught. "If we donot change the way Irish is taught, the future of Irish is uncertain."Fine Gael will change the way Irish is taught in our schools so that Irish people will no longer finish secondaryschool, having learnt Irish for 13 years, and yet are unable to speak the language. The Fine Gael plan is toplace a greater emphasis on the spoken language and not the rote learning that characterises the current sys-tem."After ten years of the new and improved curriculum, then, and only then, will Irish become optional for the Leaving Certificate. Thebiggest indictment of the current syllabus is that many people after just 5 years learning a foreign language in secondary schoolcome out of school more fluent in that foreign language than they do in Irish. The Fine Gael plan aims to change that. This is whywe as young members of Fine Gael endorse this plan. I would love to be able to speak Irish fluently, but due to the way it is taught,the cúpla focal evade me."Enda Kenny and Fine Gael want what is best for the Irish language. Fine Gaels reforms of the curriculum are guided by the deter-mination that Irish should be an active language in our community, where all of our people can speak the language, treasure it andbe proud of it"