Making the lives of hard-pressed working families better.
Fine Gael understands the challenges in raising a family.
We want to deliver the following:
- A range of family friendly childcare options including subsidised high quality childcare, the opening up of our schools to provide aftercare and support for parents who choose to stay at home and care for their children.
- A new Working Family Payment promoting work by supplementing, on a graduated basis, the income of a household. At the same time, this will not disincentivise more hours or full-time work for those who wish to do them.
- Building on progress already made, we will continue the roll out of free GP care to all children ensuring cost is never a barrier to healthcare.
- Introducing a second free preschool year (already delivered) and ensuring smaller class sizes for children starting school.
- Additional investment increasing primary and secondary capitation rates, expanded intervention services including Speech and Language Therapists and National Educational Psychologists where need arises.
- Strengthen parental choice and diversity in our school system, reflecting the need in modern Ireland for new forms of multi-denominational and non-denominational education.
Budget 2017 was designed to help hard pressed working families. One particular highlight of Budget 2017 in this regard is the significant investment in childcare, designed to make it more affordable for working families. Parents of a child between 6 and 36 months in full time formal child care will receive support to the value of €960 per year. There will also be a targeted subsidy scheme for low to middle income parents with children between 6 months and 15 years. At the same time, we are increasing the Homecarer’s credit by €100 to €1,100. These announcements are in addition to the recent introduction of paternity leave and of the second free pre-school year.