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No plans to increase income tax or USC in programme for government document

The document details a plan to end direct provision and increase carbon tax.

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Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who is set to become Ireland’s next premier, outside Government Buildings in Dublin, after Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens finalised the text of a draft programme for government four months on from the election.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who is set to become Ireland’s next premier, outside Government Buildings in Dublin, after Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens finalised the text of a draft programme for government four months on from the election.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who is set to become Ireland’s next premier, outside Government Buildings in Dublin, after Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens finalised the text of a draft programme for government four months on from the election.

There will be no increase in income tax or the Universal Social Charge (USC) in the next budget, according to the new Programme for Government.

The document, which took weeks to assemble and sign off, also details a plan to end direct provision and increase carbon tax.

The plan to increase the state pension age to 67 has also been deferred until the outcome of a commission.

The measures were unveiled in the Programme for Government backed by the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party.

The parties have committed to a recovery fund package to help steer the country out of mass unemployment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes:

– Prioritising productive and labour intensive capital investment projects focused on areas such as housing, retrofitting and public and active transport to directly assist and maintain employment and support future employment.

– Expenditure measures to help those who have been made unemployed by Covid-19, and are unable to return to their previous employment, to receive training to give them new opportunities.

– Assistance to boost business agility such as online trading, management and innovation capabilities.

– Measures to help Irish companies access credit and capital to support the retention and creation of jobs.

On pensions, the document says it will eliminate the requirements of having to sign on and be actively seeking work for those retiring at 65.

There will be a total contributions approach aligning a person’s contributory pension more closely with the contributions they make. This will include a provision for credited contributions, ensuring that people who take time off work to care for loved ones are not disadvantaged.

There will also be free travel for people aged 66 and over.

The document also says it is committed to replace the Direct Provision system with a new International Protection accommodation policy centred on a not-for-profit approach.

A White Paper, informed by the recommendations of an expert group, will set out how this new system will be structured and the steps to achieving it, to be published by the end of the year.

In the Slaintecare health service reform plan, the document says the government will increase capacity including bed, intensive care and critical care capacity.

Its priority is to ensure there is capacity for future surges of Covid-19.

There is also a plan to assess the impact of Covid-19 on implementing Slaintecare.

The document said it will open the National Children’s Hospital, although there is no further detail.

The parties have committed to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000 over the next five years, the majority of which are to be built by local authorities, approved housing bodies and state agencies.

The Occupied Territories Bill was not included in the final draft of the agreement.

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Simon Coveney with Leo Varadkar (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

Simon Coveney with Leo Varadkar (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

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Simon Coveney with Leo Varadkar (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

The Bill would seek to ban imports from illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, but Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said it was not “implementable”.

He added: “This was a proposal and a piece of legislation that was being brought through the Oireachtas that I believe, and I still believe, wasn’t implementable.

“I got pretty detailed advice from the Attorney General in relation to it and couldn’t support it on that basis.

“I made that case through these discussions as well and the decision was made to take it out of the document. I think that was the right decision.”

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