What to expect from the first 100 days of the new government

What to expect from the first 100 days of the new government
Housing will remain a top priority along with getting the country back to work, and a roadmap for social, public and private housebuilding should be expected early on, with Fianna Fáil keen to put their stamp on resolving the state's biggest crisis.

Ireland's historic coalition is hoped to last five years, and though the "Greenest programme for government" the state has ever seen promises big changes in the latter half of the decade, the first 100 days will map out where this unlikely marriage hopes to go.

In that vein, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party have promised to introduce legislation that would set out five-year budgets.

These long-term financial plans are favoured by the Greens in order to measure and monitor how this system overhaul will work.

The three parties say the kind of environmental changes, such as retrofitting homes and funding public transport and cycling infrastructure, will take years for effects to be felt, meaning a swift implementation will be necessary, (and having the civil war parties commit early won't hurt Eamon Ryan either).

The coalition’s strategy will be “first and foremost” to borrow money to stimulate the economy according to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

At a time when Ireland can borrow at low-interest rates, all three parties have indicated their support for "financial recovery instruments".

Since the outbreak of Covid, the Fine Gael led government has funded increased public and social services, such as the Covid Unemployment payment, and it is hoped by the Green Party that borrowing will reflect further investment into the Irish economy to increase revenue and enable businesses to bounce back.

Housing will remain a top priority along with getting the country back to work, and a roadmap for social, public and private housebuilding should be expected early on, with Fianna Fáil keen to put their stamp on resolving the state's biggest crisis.

Meanwhile, although it may feel like it, but the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over. The new government will steer Ireland into Phase 4, the final phase, of the roadmap.

All going well, the government will oversee life going back to something close to normal and, with it, the resumption and hopeful recovery of the economy.

However, there will be difficult weeks ahead - the July Stimulus will need to work quickly as hundreds of thousands of people remain on social welfare and there is always the chance of a second wave of the virus. How would the new government handle a second lockdown scenario.

Back in February, Brexit seemed like it would be the issue which most vexed the new government. A global pandemic later, it has somewhat faded from the view, but it will become a major issue again.

A December deadline will see a no-deal Brexit hit Ireland's economy hard and will massively affect the ability of the country to rebound from the Covid-19 recession.

The first 100 days of new relationships are usually the easiest and most carefree. This will not be like that. Three parties, perhaps buttressed by disparate independents, will have to find a way to co-exist and thrive. They will have to keep leaks from the Cabinet table to a minimum and build working relationships that allow the work of government become the main focus, not any sideshows of disagreements.

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