May 11, 2016
The publishing Programme for Government is a welcome development, but we must be careful to ensure that it’s not left as a directory of unfulfilled promises and lofty aspirations. The document was long on aspirations but short on details, specifically timelines.
The Programme for Government contains many worthwhile initiatives that we would like to see come to fruition, but there are also problems with the lofty and often vague plans as to how to deliver on the promises and also some glaring gaps – there is nothing regarding Higher Education funding for example.
The Taoiseach himself has described the document as ‘ambitious and optimistic’ and while a Government should absolutely be both ambitious and optimistic it must also have very concrete plans as to how to achieve those ambitions.
The programme makes reference to a winter A&E plan for example; this strikes us as a band-aid solution to flashpoint of a year round crisis. In fact the entire section on health is quite worrying with it’s very obviously slant towards private interests and this is something that must be challenged vociferously.
The new arrangement of the Dáil ensures that The Social Democrats will work collaboratively with all other members of the parliament to try deliver on the promises that will most benefit society, but we will also challenge the parts of what is clearly a cobbled-together collection of wish lists that are simply not achievable or acceptable.