The Green Party appears to focus heavily on young voters in their manifesto for the upcoming general election, proposing free transport and extending the funding for the SUSI grant.
The party wants to “make public transport free for all students”, a proposal which would be well received by students across the country. According to Zurich Life’s Cost of Education Survey in 2019, students spend on average €315 per year on transport to and from college.
The party wants to “transform” the country’s transport system and proposes piloting a €365 public transport annual pass modelled on the fare structure first introduced in Vienna in 2013.
Also included in the party’s manifesto is a promise to increase funding for third-level education, something which is badly needed according to the Irish Universities Association.
Focusing on student housing is also a priority for the party. Supports for homeless students, students in direct provision and students from disadvantaged areas are promised in the manifesto in order to help them “stay and progress in education”.
Speaking to RTE, Green Party candidate Neasa Hourigan said that “this manifesto is a call to action, we have lost a decade but we’re asking the electorate today to vote for a new decade of change.”
On the topic of climate change, the party states that “by 2040, Ireland’s power, heat ort systems should no longer rely on fossil fuels” and that our “agricultural system should achieve carbon neutrality”.
To achieve this, they have proposed a ban on single-use plastic and a “bottle deposit and return scheme”. The party also promised that within the first 100 days in Government, they would implement the Climate Action Bill which would strengthen the powers of the Climate Change Advisory Council and introduce new five-year climate budgets.
With regard to illegal drug use, the Green Party want to follow in Portugal’s footsteps by treating it as a health issue as opposed to a criminal one.
“In government, we would shift drugs policy from a criminal justice approach to a public health approach by introducing these following reforms.”
They have also stated they would “decriminalise the possession of small quantities of cannabis products and plants”.
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