Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Supporting Older People in Meath - Older years should be better years

Vote Regina Doherty Number 1 Meath East


This election, Fine Gael have a simple proposition for older people. We want to make your older years better years. Fine Gael wants Ireland to be one of the best countries in the world in which to grow old. We can achieve this if we keep the recovery going and create the resources to support better public services.

With your vote, we will continue to make more and better jobs and we will make work pay more than welfare. With more people working (and paying tax) we will be able to invest in better public services.

We will safeguard state entitlements for older people and improve them. We will enhance the supports available so that older people can continue to live independently in their homes amongst their communities in Meath. We will spend €870 million on a package of services to support older people over the course of the next government. This is the second largest commitment in our Long Term Economic Plan after the abolition of USC.


There are five key elements to Fine Gael's plan to support Meath’s aging population:

  • Older people can be confident that State entitlements will be safeguarded and improved as the economic recovery continues. This includes their medical card; free travel; an increase of €25 in the State Pension by 2021; an extra €5 for the Living Alone Allowance by 2021; and a cap on the prescription charge at €17.50, which represents a 30% reduction.
  • Enhanced supports for older people will allow them to live independently in their homes for longer. These include 2.2 million more home help hours and increases in housing adaption grants and senior alert grants.
  • More care will be provided in the community which will benefit older people. This includes building more primary care centres; providing additional front line staff in the health system; and ensuring that chronic conditions can be cared for closer to home.
  • The Fair Deal Scheme waiting list will be kept to four weeks for those who need residential care.
  • Finally, older people can be confident that their voice will be heard. We will establish a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss and plan for the needs of our ageing population.

In 2007, Fianna Fáil promised to increase the State pension to €300. Instead they presided over a catastrophic economic crash and decided to cut the Christmas bonus, a move that really affected vulnerable older people. By contrast, Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going will ensure that older years are better years, as we spread the benefits of the recovery to everyone and ensure that older people across Meath can experience meaningful improvements to their quality of life. I'm asking for your number 1 to help me make this happen.


Regina Doherty



Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Emlagh refusal a badge of honour for people of Meath

Meath East General Election candidate, Regina Doherty has this morning said that An Bord Pleanala’s refusal for planning on the Emlagh Windfarm application is a badge of honour for the people of Meath. 

Doherty said “I know that I join the many hundreds of families, businesses and communities this morning in breathing a huge sigh of relief upon hearing of ABP’s refusal of the Emlagh Windfarm planning application. This planning process, which commenced some 3-4 years ago, has demonstrated the bravery and solidarity that exists amongst us here in North Meath. 

“A number of months ago upon the conclusion of the Oral Hearing, I stated that this process was not an easy one. It was certainly not an easy feat for parents, farmers and homeowners - our rural champions – to submit their opposition to Emlagh sitting across the room from Element Power and their abundant rows of legal teams and security in Kells. 

“The contribution made by each and every individual or group, both written and oral were incredibly powerful on both personal and professional levels.

“I strongly believe that we would not be where we are today without the tireless efforts of Padriac Dolan and John Callaghan, but to name a few, who were absolutely exceptional throughout this whole process. They have, without doubt, lead the way for families, business owners and communities right across the county.

“The people of Meath pulled together and joined forces in the name of our county. As collective individuals and community groups we took on a large corporate organisation in a successful bid to extinguish their proposed invasion on our lives.
“We must now remain cautious with the road ahead. Green energy is needed in Ireland but certainly not in the forceful form of industrial scale like that which we have seen in the Emlagh application.
Doherty concluded “today, I am incredibly proud of our rural champions; together we have accomplished more than anyone would have thought possible.”

School facilities key to affordable childcare

Fine Gael’s Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called for our school buildings to remain open after school hours with a view to reducing the cost of childcare. 

Doherty, who is the Chair of the Fine Gael Health and Children Committee, said “we have top of the range school facilities right at our doorsteps across County Meath which we are not currently using to their full capacity. We have invested heavily in our educational facilities over the last number of years which I believe should become multipurpose and cater after-school activities for our children and teenagers. 

“As a working mother of four I understand all too well the costs associated with childcare, which for some parents, can be a deterrent to returning to work. It is crucially important that we make work pay and by opening up our schools to homework clubs, craft groups and sports clubs, we can do just that. 

“Fine Gael is committed to making work pay and to ensuring that we invest smartly in our schools and in our families. By opening up the doors of our schools after hours we will dramatically reduce the cost of childcare and all at a minimal cost to the tax payer. 

“We do not need to build purpose built facilities as they already exist in the heart of our communities. This is one of the many recommendations that I have made for the Fine Gael manifesto so as to ensure that the road ahead is fair for working families. 

“We continue to see economic progress, with over 135,000 more people at work, but we cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue.” 

Concluding, Doherty said “More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all. Affordable childcare is fundamental to making this happen and will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.” 

Monday, February 08, 2016

School facilities key to affordable childcare

Fine Gael’s Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called for our school buildings to remain open after school hours with a view to reducing the cost of childcare. 

Doherty, who is the Chair of the Fine Gael Health and Children Committee, said “we have top of the range school facilities right at our doorsteps across County Meath which we are not currently using to their full capacity. We have invested heavily in our educational facilities over the last number of years which I believe should become multipurpose and cater after-school activities for our children and teenagers. 

“As a working mother of four I understand all too well the costs associated with childcare, which for some parents, can be a deterrent to returning to work. It is crucially important that we make work pay and by opening up our schools to homework clubs, craft groups and sports clubs, we can do just that. 

“Fine Gael is committed to making work pay and to ensuring that we invest smartly in our schools and in our families. By opening up the doors of our schools after hours we will dramatically reduce the cost of childcare and all at a minimal cost to the tax payer. 

“We do not need to build purpose built facilities as they already exist in the heart of our communities. This is one of the many recommendations that I have made for the Fine Gael manifesto so as to ensure that the road ahead is fair for working families. 

“We continue to see economic progress, with over 135,000 more people at work, but we cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue.” 

Concluding, Doherty said “More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all. Affordable childcare is fundamental to making this happen and will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.” 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Abolishing the USC will keep the recovery going

Fine Gael’ Meath East Regina Doherty has said the party plans to abolish the USC by 2020 as part of the party’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going.



“This time five years ago, people were feeling for the first time the shock of seeing the Universal Social Charge deducted from their pay checks. The introduction of the USC by Fianna Fail was the last act of a failed Government and their economic mismanagement that ruined the country. It has become the most hated tax in the history of the Irish State.
“Fine Gael has already started to abolish the USC – we cut all the rates this year and have completely removed over 400,000 low-paid workers over the last four years. Fine Gael plans to complete the abolition of the USC over the next five years.  As part our wider tax reforms, this is the core part of Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan aimed at making work pay.  Fine Gael is a party that believes it is good for Ireland to make work pay more than welfare and to reward hard work.  It is the hard work of Irish families and small business that is generating economic recovery.  We want to keep the recovery going by encouraging and rewarding that hard work.

“Since the introduction of the USC by Fianna Fail, Ireland’s personal tax system has discouraged work and is a barrier to the economic recovery.  More than 80% of the tax increases implemented by Fianna Fail were imposed on workers and took money out of their pockets.  Like all penal taxes on work, Fianna Fail’s USC killed jobs – 300,000 of them.  Fine Gael abandoned the further increases in income taxes planned by Fianna Fail, and has now started reducing taxes on workers and putting money back in people’s pockets.  Over 135,000 more people are at work since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012.  Much progress has been made but we want to finish the job by implementing the three steps of our Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going: more and better jobs; making work pay; and sensible investments in public services.

“The abolition of the USC is at the centre of this and, if returned to Government, we will achieve this over the next five years.  We will end the discrimination against the self-employed under the tax system by 2018.  We will reduce the marginal rate of tax to 44% for middle income earners and under 50% for everyone else to make work pay.”

Friday, February 05, 2016

Emlagh refusal a badge of honour for people of Meath


Meath East General Election candidate, Regina Doherty has this morning said that An Bord Pleanala’s refusal for planning on the Emlagh Windfarm application is a badge of honour for the people of Meath.

Doherty said “I know that I join the many hundreds of families, businesses and communities this morning in breathing a huge sigh of relief upon hearing of ABP’s refusal of the Emlagh Windfarm planning application. This planning process, which commenced some 3-4 years ago, has demonstrated the bravery and solidarity that exists amongst us here in North Meath.


“A number of months ago upon the conclusion of the Oral Hearing, I stated that this process was not an easy one. It was certainly not an easy feat for parents, farmers and homeowners - our rural champions – to submit their opposition to Emlagh sitting across the room from Element Power and their abundant rows of legal teams and security in Kells.

“The contribution made by each and every individual or group, both written and oral were incredibly powerful on both personal and professional levels.

“I strongly believe that we would not be where we are today without the tireless efforts of Padriac Dolan and John Callaghan, but to name a few, who were absolutely exceptional throughout this whole process. They have, without doubt, lead the way for families, business owners and communities right across the county.

“The people of Meath pulled together and joined forces in the name of our county. As collective individuals and community groups we took on a large corporate organisation in a successful bid to extinguish their proposed invasion on our lives.
“We must now remain cautious with the road ahead. Green energy is needed in Ireland but certainly not in the forceful form of industrial scale like that which we have seen in the Emlagh application.Doherty concluded “today, I am incredibly proud of our rural champions; together we have accomplished more than anyone would have thought possible.”

Fine Gael Jobs Plan to create 200,000 jobs to bring total employment to historic high

    · Plan commits that every region, including Meath, will have employment rate within 1% of national average of 6%
    · €4 billion extra capital for Future Jobs Fund from 2017
Pictured above with County Manager Jackie Maguire, Regina said that Fine Gael's plan commits to having the employment rate in every region of the State, including Meath, within 1% of the national average of 6%.

Fine Gael's Meath East Regina Doherty, today (Friday) said the party’s Jobs Plan would bring total employment in the State to 2.18 million – higher than at any point in the country’s history. The plan also commits to having the employment rate in every region of the State, including Meath, within 1% of the national average of 6%.

Doherty said:

“Our ambition is clear. Under our plan, by 2020 anyone who wants a job will be able to get a job. Our jobs plan is the first of three steps in our Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going. We will create 200,000 extra jobs by 2020, bringing total employment in the State to the highest point in our history at 2.18 million. Since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, 136,000 more people are back at work and unemployment has dropped to 8.6%. Almost 60% of the new jobs are outside Dublin, while every region is now experiencing jobs growth and falling unemployment. We are confident we can build on the success of the Action Plan and the specific strategic plans for each region. That is why we are committing to having the employment rate in every region in the State within 1% of the national average of 6% by 2020.

“Over the last five years Fine Gael has shown that it has the right policies and genuine commitment to pro-enterprise policies that can help our economy to grow and along with it more jobs. When we first set a target of creating 100,000 additional jobs within five year many scoffed at the target. Our political opponents criticised our plans and voted against the Budgets that underpinned our plans.

“Today we are committing to an even bolder, more ambitious plan for jobs: 200,000 extra jobs by 2020 and every region to benefit and be within 1% of the national average. Under Fine Gael’s plan we will fund an additional €4 billion in total capital investment over the five years period 2017-2021. The funds will be ring-fenced for a new ‘Future Jobs Investment Fund’ to future-proof the economy and our jobs plan against rising global risks and challenges. This is the right policy to build on the success of our jobs strategy in Government.

“Under Fianna Fáil, the wrong policies destroyed our economy and 300,000 jobs. The right ones have helped bring back 136,000 jobs. Let’s stick with the party with the right policies, and grow more jobs to keep the recovery going.”


Monday, February 01, 2016

Fire station in Dunshaughlin to be upgraded

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has welcomed confirmation today that the fire station in Dunshaughlin is to be upgraded.

“The funding programme announced today will see 10 fire station upgrades and refurbishments between now and 2020, along with 16 new fire stations.


“The upgrading of the fire station in Dunshaughlin is great news and something that I’ve been working towards for some time. Fire stations and fire fighters are a vital service to local communities and Fine Gael is committed to providing and maintaining a quality firefighting and rescue service.

“These projects are in addition to the announcement last year to progress three new fire stations in Templemore, Co. Tipperary; Ferbane, Co. Offaly and Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny.

“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the keep the recovery going which will allow for these kinds of investments to take place. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay more than welfare, and investment in better public services, which will only be possible as a result of the increased revenue generated by creating more jobs. This plan will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”

New fire station for Nobber

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has welcomed confirmation today that Nobber is to get a new fire station.

“The funding programme announced today will see 16 new fire station construction projects initiated between now and 2020, along with 10 fire station upgrades / refurbishments.


“A new fire station is great news for Nobber and something that I’ve been working towards for some time. Fire stations and fire fighters are a vital service to local communities and Fine Gael is committed to providing and maintaining a quality firefighting and rescue service.

“Subject to final agreement on scope and design, the station in Nobber will be brought to tender by the end of2020.

“These projects are in addition to the announcement last year to progress three new fire stations in Templemore, Co. Tipperary; Ferbane, Co. Offaly and Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny.

“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the keep the recovery going which will allow for these kinds of investments to take place. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay more than welfare, and investment in better public services, which will only be possible as a result of the increased revenue generated by creating more jobs. This plan will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”

Boost of €100K for Meath volunteers

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that funding of €100,552 for Meath Volunteer Centre will provide a great boost for Meath volunteers. This is part of national funding of €3.15 million for volunteering organisations.

Regina, pictured above at launch of Special Olympics Ireland, has said that supporting volunteers in our community is extremely important and now possible due to resources available from growing employment

 
“Funding of over €100K has been allocated to Meath Volunteer Centre to support Meath volunteers for 2016. This money will add to that being raised locally by many hard working volunteers.“Volunteerism helps people to feel involved in their communities and to participate in local events. Volunteers drive local development, sports organisations and charities in all parts of the country and this funding will help to support the structures behind this valuable work. The importance of volunteers in our local communities cannot be understated. “There is a wide range of social and community initiatives operating in Meath all of which are only possible because of alliances that have formed between communities, voluntary agencies, government, and business. The level of professionalism, skill and cooperation that exists among volunteers here in Meath has never been greater.

“This funding has been provided to support volunteer centres and volunteer information services in all parts of the country including here in Meath. A number of national organisations such as Volunteer Ireland, Young Social Innovators, Chambers Ireland and Focus have also received support under this scheme.
“Supporting volunteers in our community is extremely important and now possible due to resources available from growing employment. Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the keep the recovery going and job creation is at its core. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay more than welfare, and investment in better public services, which will only be possible as a result of the increased revenue generated by creating more jobs. This plan will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”

Heritage projects in Meath to get funding boost

340 projects across the country to benefit from €2m investment scheme

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has welcomed funding of €50,000 for heritage projects in Meath.


“This funding announced today by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys is a great boost for heritage projects in Meath. 340 heritage projects nationwide will share in a €2 million investment package as part of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme for 2016.

“This funding will allow for the conservation and repair of heritage buildings in Meath.

“A wide range of properties will benefit, including residential homes, townhouses, railway stations, churches, country houses and other heritage buildings.

“The scheme follows a similar model to the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme, which proved to be very successful in 2014.

“It is expected this new scheme will leverage an additional €8 million in private funds and will generate significant employment in the conservation and construction industries nationwide and here in Meath.

“Heritage buildings and protected structures are a vital part of Meath and the Government is committed to supporting their conservation.
“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the keep the recovery going which will allow for these kinds of investments to take place. The plan has three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay more than welfare, and investment in better public services, which will only be possible as a result of the increased revenue generated by creating more jobs. This plan will ensure that more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives.”