POLICIES TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN OUR COUNTRY

RENUA stands for a country that is run fairly for the benefit of Irish citizens, not global corporations, Brussels or Berlin. We are committed to sensible governance, prudent spending of taxpayer funds and protecting the national finances. We are committed for the right of citizens in a democracy to free speech and ensuring fair and open political discussion and debate. RENUA prioritises the development and growth of Irish-owned small and medium sized enterprises over attracting foreign multinational corporations.

SUMMARY


Support for Irish entrepreneurs
RENUA prioritises the promotion of Irish small and medium sized enterprises over foreign multinational corporations. We want a reduction in commercial rates for small businesses with funding replaced by increased charges on vacant and derelict sites.

Put taxpayers first
RENUA want smaller and more efficient government and less interference in the lives of citizens. We want a State that is committed to serving Irish citizens, not the interests of the wealthy, of lobbyists, global corporations or the EU. We totally reject political corruption and cronyism and demand that politicians and public servants be held accountable for incompetent decisions and waste of tax payers’ money.

Protect the right to free speech and respect for different points of view
RENUA are against the use of ‘political correctness’ to bully people and the spread of political censorship by the State, mainstream media and Big Tech corporations such as Google, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

Protect Ireland’s unique history, heritage, and culture
RENUA insist the Irish history and culture be respected and promoted in schools and not be diluted to suit globalist homogenisation. We oppose any further handing over of power to Brussels. We put the interests of Irish citizens’ first, not big business or the EU.

 



POLICY DETAIL

PUT TAXPAYERS FIRST

RENUA wants smaller and more efficient government and less interference in the lives of citizens. We want a State that is committed to serving Irish citizens, not the interests of the wealthy, of lobbyists, global corporations or the EU. Progressive taxation, fair public procurement practices, questioning the efficacy of quangos and harnessing the power of the digital economy can all help narrow economic inequality and promote prosperity. We believe in putting the taxpayer first by: focusing on reducing taxes; respecting every Euro of taxpayers’ money; highlighting and eliminating wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.

1. RENUA will re-establish ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ and implement a forensic analysis of public spending to eliminate waste and inefficiency. We will reduce tax payer funding to NGO lobbyists.

2. RENUA totally reject political corruption and cronyism and demand that politicians and public servants be held accountable for incompetent decisions and waste of tax payers’ money. We believe in protecting taxpayers by reducing the level of compensation available down to that available in similar EU countries. We will abolishing monetary compensation for soft-tissue injuries (whiplash) and replacing with vouchers for physiotherapy services.

3. RENUA will establish a Public Sector Innovation Fund to reward public and civil servants (individuals or teams) who propose the best ideas for reducing costs and/or improving services to end users.

4. RENUA will prioritise making the social welfare sustainable. We will ensure that our proposed Commission for the Future of Taxation and Welfare will be asked to produce recommendations for longer-term reforms of the welfare state to ensure its sustainability.

5. RENUA will strengthen the powers of the Garda Fraud Squad (in co-operation with the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General) to allow them to actively target corruption and waste by politicians and public servants.

SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENSURSHIP


6. RENUA believes that while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) receives a lot of attention it is necessary for the Government to focus on measures to help our home-grown enterprises to grow and prosper. Ireland is home to approximately 250,000 Irish Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) employing nearly a million people. These enterprises are essential, to a sustainable economy and must be supported.

7. RENUA will abolish tax on stock options at companies that are younger than 10 years, have fewer than 50 employees and revenue and a balance sheet of less than €8m. Such a policy is already in operation in Sweden and has already been approved by the European Commission.

8. RENUA will increase the lifetime limit on gains from the disposal of businesses from €1m to €15m. Entrepreneurs will pay a reduced rate of CGT (10%) on all gains made up to the lifetime limit of €15m. The relief will be available to all those who own a minimum of 1% of a business.

9. RENUA will introduce a nationwide relief scheme to reduce commercial rates for struggling businesses. This will be funded by the imposition of a levy on vacant commercial properties. We believe that town centres should be the commercial, cultural and civic heart of every community. RENUA will support town centre regeneration by rebalancing rates for retailers based within the town so that they are not put an economic disadvantage.

10. RENUA will task our proposed Commission on the Future of Taxation and Welfare to recommend a new system to better fund local government in Ireland.

11. RENUA will reform the National Training Fund so that a minimum of 55% of spending is dedicated to ‘In Employment’ activities where the employers who pay for it can access the fund for the benefit of their workers.

12. RENUA will abolish the ‘Low Pay Commission’.

13. RENUA will link any further minimum wage increases to 3-year average inflation. We will also defend the “ability to pay” clause for employers. 

14. RENUA will reduce the rate of Employer’s PRSI for those earning less than €380 per week to 4.25%.

BANKING REFORM


15. RENUA will establish real competition in the Irish banking sector by harnessing the network of An Post offices and Credit Unions to establish a German-Style public bank in Ireland. German public banks are typically owned by Federal, Regional or Local Government with profits used to both secure its capital base and distributed for the benefit of local communities.


16. RENUA will instruct the Central Bank to issue guidelines to aid the development of peer-to-peer lending in Ireland.

17. RENUA will introduce laws to specifically prevent banks from demanding personal guarantees and pre-signed letters of resignation when offering loans to businesses. Banks need to get back to basics by fully analysing a lending proposal and making their decision solely on that.

18. RENUA Ireland will support the growth and development of the social enterprise sector in Ireland. We will instruct Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) to accept funding applications from Social Enterprises.

PROTECTION OF DEMOCRACY & THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH

RENUA are deeply concerned about the increasing intolerance of diverse viewpoints in Irish public life. Unfortunately, citizens holding a traditional, patriotic or religious outlook are often bullied and marginalised, stifling the open debate upon which a free and democratic society depends. In a democracy, alternative points of view must be respected. RENUA is against the use of ‘political correctness’ to bully and censor people. We are against the spread of political censorship by the State, mainstream media and corporations such as Google, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. We are against the introduction of so called ‘hate speech’ laws to silence genuine and important political debate about topics that politicians and certain interest groups may find ‘sensitive’. We believe that it is essential that a free and democratic society must hear different opinions sincerely held and respectfully presented. RENUA are totally committed to the values of freedom of thought and speech which lie at the heart of democracy.

19. RENUA rejects the introduction of any ‘hate speech’ laws designed to restrict the free expression of legitimate opinions or that are based on subjective feelings. The current criminal legislation is sufficient to address any instances of real incitement of hatred.  
20. RENUA will bring in legislation to forbid political censorship by social media platforms. Free speech is essential to a healthy democracy. The practice of censoring, restricting, ‘shadow banning’ or ‘deplatform’ users because of their legitimate political views is unacceptable.

21. RENUA will introduce mandatory ID checks for all voters at polling stations to prevent voter impersonation and fraud.


HOUSING

22. RENUA will use zoned State land to develop affordable public housing modelled on the Austrian public housing system. We will do this using the zoned land the Irish state owns or controls which is enough to build 114,000 dwellings. We will aim to deliver 100,000 affordable public homes within 5-years with priority being given to young working couples and young working families. These groups have been largely ignored in public discourse on the housing crisis as government and media focus on the homeless. However, RENUA Ireland believes it is vital for the future development of our communities and our country that we provide more support to working people trying to start their adult lives.

23. RENUA will reduce the cost of affordable housing. The current cost of constructing a 3-bed semi-detached home in Ireland is €330,493. Public housing can be made more affordable by removing the site-purchase cost (€57,500 – 17%) and Local Authority levies (€11.750 – 4%). Rent will be set at 20% of household income – reviewable every 3 years. Ireland is not a poor country. Over €166 billion Euros is on deposit from businesses and citizens in banks and credit unions whilst estimates from the OECD placed the total value of Irish Pension Funds at €101.7bn at year-end 2017. We will design and issue ‘Sustainable Neighbourhood Bonds’ for individuals and corporations. These bonds should be modelled on the New York Housing Development Corporation’s (NYHDC) ‘Sustainable Neighbourhood Bond’ which raised $590m in its first issue in 2015.

24. RENUA will allow Credit Unions to expand the range of housing schemes they can lend to.

25. RENUA will require the Pension’s Authority to review its current regulations to support the use of pension assets to fund important national infrastructure.

26. RENUA will introduce a ‘local families first’ policy. There are currently 71,858 people on social housing waiting lists in Ireland. Each Local Authority is responsible for drawing up its own rules for deciding the order of priority on the social housing list. We believe that it is vital that social houses are allocated fairly and, in a way that communities can support. RENUA Ireland believes that Local Authorities should include a ‘local families first’ criteria as part of the social housing allocation process. Here, priority will be given to applicants who have parents or grandparents living locally or who have demonstrated a clear record of participation in community development activities.

27. RENUA will reform the Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS). Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) CSO figures from Census 2016 suggested that there were 245,460 vacant homes in Ireland. While there are suggestions that that figure is somewhat inflated there is no doubt that there are a significant number of vacant homes in Ireland that could be used to help alleviate our housing crisis.

28. RENUA support the Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) but believe it is hampered by bureaucracy and a lack of ambition. We will lead a campaign to reform the RLS. Specifically, we want to introduce higher loan amounts for longer rental periods as follows: –

·         €40,000 for 5-years

·         €80,000 for 10-years and

·         €120,000 for 15-years.

 29. RENUA will introduce the ‘€1 Home’. It is scandalous in a housing crisis that there are 3,600 vacant council-owned homes in Ireland for 2-years or more. RENUA Ireland will support a ‘use it or lose it’ approach to dealing with vacant social housing units. While Local Authorities may claim that they do not have the funding required to repair these homes we believe that it is simply intolerable, in the middle of a housing crisis, to leave these potential homes vacant. Under RENUA’s plan, social houses lying vacant for 2-years or more and in need of repair should be sold for €1 to buyers who will agree to repair the home and maintain it as their principle private residence for a minimum of 10-years. If the home is sold within that 10-year period, the relevant Local Authority would be entitled to claw-back a portion of the capital gain on the sale of the home.

30. RENUA will reform the HAP Scheme. Under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme Local Authorities pay rent directly to landlords while tenants may be required to pay a small contribution to the Local Authority. When tenants fail to pay their contribution, Local Authorities suspend payment to the landlord. This practice hurts landlords whom the state is using to help alleviate our housing crisis. Given the wide-ranging protections afforded to tenants it can take a long time to evict them. Private landlords, many of whom are themselves struggling to repay mortgages, find themselves out of pocket for months while their tenants live in their homes rent free. RENUA will require Local Authorities to keep paying rent to private landlords while they work with tenants for monies owed. We will also campaign to rebalance tenancy laws to make them fairer to landlords.

31. RENUA will work to prevent land hoarding. We will ensure that sun-set clauses are attached to zoning decisions. We will empower councils or Approved Housing Bodies to buy undeveloped land for Affordable Housing. We will allow Local Authorities or Approved Housing bodies to enter into Public-Private Partnerships with the owners of zoned but undeveloped land. We will remove loop-holes in the vacant site levy and increase the levy annually to a maximum of 20%.

32. RENUA will abolish the Local Property Tax (LPT). RENUA believe that in the long-term interest of our country the Local Property Tax (LPT) should be abolished and replaced with a site value tax to encourage the optimum use of land in Ireland.

33. RENUA will reform building regulations & planning. We will initiate a review of unwarranted restrictions for vital infrastructure with the intention that these should be abolished to help deliver high-density, high-quality housing.

34. RENUA will reform taxation of rental income. In order to truly reform Ireland’s housing market it will be necessary to reform how rental income is taxed in order to encourage continued and increased private provision of rental accommodation. RENUA Ireland will allow Local Property Taxes to be deducted for rental income purposes. We will allow 100% mortgage interest to be deducted. For individual landlords we will introduce a headline tax rate of 20% on all rental income.

35. RENUA will incentive returning vacant home to use. Census 2016 recorded 183,312 properties as vacant in Ireland. RENUA Ireland will conduct an audit of these homes with the intention of returning them to the housing stock. We will reform the ‘Fair Deal’ Scheme to encourage elderly people to sell or rent-out their home while they are in nursing home care. RENUA will set a maximum contribution of 20% of all assets and income.

36. RENUA Ireland will implement a ‘Housing Passport’ which will allow homeless people apply for housing across all 31 local authorities. Under the scheme those who refuse 3 offers of accommodation will be declared ‘voluntarily homeless’ and no further housing supports will be provided.

37. RENUA will sorting out the ‘vulture funds’. Incredibly, the Irish state has bought some properties at full market value from vulture funds which were previously owned by banks (and owned by the state) but sold to the vulture funds at a discount.
The current value of the Irish state’s 71% share of AIB is circa €10.5billion. RENUA propose that a portion of this €10.5bn stake should be sold and the proceeds used to buy distressed assets at the same or greater discount provided to vulture funds. Only assets that fit with our affordable public housing proposal should be purchased.

38. RENUA will promote employment in construction. Almost one in every two workers who lost their jobs from 2007 to 2012 had previously been employed in the construction industry. In Q2 2017 110,000 people were employed in the construction sector – 46% lower than in 2007. We will abolish the pro-rata student levy for construction sector apprentices to encourage construction companies to take on more apprentices. Unemployed who fail to take up apprenticeships will have their dole abolished.

Respect and develop our DEFENCE FORCES


‘Óglaigh na hÉireann has been the people, is the people and will be the people. Our green uniform does not make us less people. It is a cloak of our service, a curtailer of our weaknesses, an amplifier of our strengths.’ General Richard Mulcahy.

Despite many challenges the Defence Forces has a long history of loyalty and duty to the state and has developed a world class reputation serving Ireland overseas on peacekeeping missions. RENUA Ireland is proud of Óglaigh na hÉireann and recognises the high level of leadership, management, logistics, and other skills acquired by personnel who serve in the Defence Forces.

Since the 2008 economic crisis Óglaigh na hÉireann has been the target of cuts back and neglect by both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. During its term in office Fine Gael did not even assign a full-time minister to look after this vital component of Ireland’s security and economic prosperity.

This at a time when the threats to Ireland’s security have become multi-faceted, complex and inter-related. While recent Irish governments have recognised this change they have failed to mitigate against the associated risks while simultaneously decimating our Defence Forces. This has to change.

RENUA will work on ensuring that the Defence Forces have the flexibility required to respond to threats that affects Ireland’s security. This cannot be done without prioritising the people who serve our country as members of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

39. RENUA will introduce a Defence Forces Retention System. Since 2013 half of the people who were serving in the Defence Forces at that time have left the service. No organisation can remain viable losing that number of valuable and trained people. This has to stop. RENUA will ensure that a retention system is put in place to stem the flood of trained people out of the Defence Forces.

40. RENUA will create an Independent Defence Forces Pay Commission. As a work force members of the Defence Forces are unique in that they are not members of a trade union, cannot negotiate their own pay agreements, cannot threaten or go on strike, cannot engage in a ‘Green Flu’. As a result their loyalty to the state has been abused by a number of governments, none more so than the present Fine Gael government led by Leo Varadkar. With RENUA in government that will change. RENUA will create an Independent Defence Forces Pay Commission to constantly review the Pay and Conditions of Defence Forces members.

41. RENUA will introduce a 'transition system' for departing personnel. Due to the vagaries of the service Defence Forces members are forced to leave the service at a relatively early age. Renua recognises the potential of these people who have acquired expertise and skills, often in hostile environments. These should not be lost to businesses or other government departments. Renua will actively work on a system to connect departing individuals with potential interested bodies both public and private.

42. RENUA will create a 'Future Defence of Ireland Commission.' One hundred years after the Irish state gained its independence it cannot protect its seas, airspace, land or cyberspace. While maintaining its policy of non-alignment, which we support, the Irish state is at the same time reliant on the NATO in general and the United Kingdom in particular to protect our sovereignty. This is unsustainable, especially if there is a conflict affecting EU states. The future an independent defence of Ireland needs to be addressed. Consequently, Renua in government will create a ‘Future Defence of Ireland Commission’ that will examine and report on how the state, while remaining non-aligned in peacetime and neutral in wartime, can best prepare the Defence Forces for future European and World conflicts.


PROTECT IRELAND'S UNIQUE HERITAGE AND CULTURE

RENUA is committed to preserving and promoting Ireland’s cultural heritage for future generations, and to develop and retain its unique characteristics in an age of globalisation and digitalisation. RENUA notes that multiculturalism is recognised as having failed in other European countries such as France, Germany, the UK, Holland and more recently Sweden. We view multiculturalism as a serious threat to social peace and the survival of any nation state as a cultural unit. It is therefore the duty of the government and civil society to confidently protect Ireland’s unique cultural identity as the predominant culture. Our culture is unique and should not be diluted to suit the interest of globalist homogenisation.

43. RENUA insists the Irish history and culture be respected and remain as a core subject in primary schools and in Junior Cycle in secondary school.

44. RENUA will ensure that the only flag to be flown on all public buildings will be the Irish Tricolour. If the EU flag is to be flown, it must be at a lower level than the national flag.

45. RENUA believes that it is essential that public servants be seen as impartial in all matters of public and political debate. RENUA will insist that the Gardaí and Defence Forces to refrain from getting involved in politics (e.g. Gay Pride Parades and other social campaigns).

 

EU MEMBERSHIP

RENUA Ireland believes in the nation state, we will defend Ireland’s Constitution and Sovereignty and will place Ireland’s interest first against all others. While RENUA Ireland recognises the benefits of continued EU membership to Ireland we also believe that the transfer of any further powers to the unelected bureaucrats in the EU is not in our national interests. We put the interests of Irish citizens’ first, not global corporations or the EU. RENUA Ireland believes that the EU needs to be radically reformed in favour of the Nation State so that we decide on the policies that suit us best. Ever “Closer Union” Is not In Ireland’s Interests. 

46. RENUA will work to block any attempt to transfer further competencies to the EU.

47. RENUA will use the Irish veto to block the accession of any further countries to the EU until the EU undertakes deep and radical reform. Specifically, RENUA will campaign for the return of our national veto over all policy areas and the abandonment of Qualified Majority Voting. Specifically, RENUA is opposed to a common EU Foreign policy and will work to ensure Irish fishermen are given greater rights to fish in Irish territorial waters.

48. RENUA will work to introduce an Australian-type points system for inter-EU migration. We do not believe that the free movement of people is an essential element of any customs union. We will introduce similar rules to Belgium which, despite being in the EU, applies strict rules preventing non-Belgian EU nationals from claiming welfare payments and supports. Immigrants to Belgium must also have a minimum level of savings and a job lined up.

49. RENUA will bring back the ‘Green’ passport. In recent decades Ireland abandoned the green passport in favour of the common ‘burgundy’ passport of the EU. The introduction of the green passport in 1927 was an important symbol of our new-found independence. Re-introducing that passport now will be an important symbol of our independent policy direction within the EU.