Labour plan aims to woo Dublin voters

An ambitious 10-point plan to pull the capital's voters was unveiled today by the Labour Party.

An ambitious 10-point plan to pull the capital's voters was unveiled today by the Labour Party.

Focusing on realising Dublin's full potential as a city, the party vowed to make a real difference to the lives of its residents if elected in to Government.

Getting Dublin moving with more buses and a €1 standard fare, a first class health system with 600 new community beds, more gardaí, fast-tracking school builds, and a major affordable housing scheme were among their key initiatives promised.

Tackling decentralisation, developing the cultural capital, pedestrianising College Green, creating a Greater Dublin Authority, and investing money in areas of multiple deprivation were also part of the package to transform the city.

Ruairí Quinn, party spokesman on enterprise, trade and employment, said Dublin has the potential to become one of the great cities of the world.

"The Dublin of 2007 is a city under pressure," he said launching the plan.

"The failure to plan properly, the failure to provide proper infrastructure, especially in regard to public transport, the failure to make adequate provision for the social and recreational needs of its citizens have diminished the quality of life of the capital's citizens.

"All these factors have also all combined to rob Dublin of its full potential."

The Greater Dublin Area today boasts over one and a half million people and is expected to grow to in excess of two million by 2021.

Mr Quinn said the capital was a relatively compact city and it was ridiculous that somebody living in the outer suburbs can take up to an hour and half to get to work in the city centre.

He claimed failures to provide proper community policing has left areas of the city and country exposed to crime, vandalism and anti-social behaviour, and criticised the government's decentralisation plan which he promised would be reviewed if elected.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte said despite the Celtic Tiger, areas of deprivation ruined by drug epidemics, crime, violence, and anti-social behaviour were forgotten.

"Across Dublin, you will see all the signs of private affluence, but little public wealth," he said.

"You will see the high end cars, but not enough buses and trains. You'll see the new fitness clubs, but little for our young people to do.

"There have been worthy improvements to the layout of the city, but public space has lagged behind the pace of private development.

"People have taken second place to property."

Mr Rabbitte claimed the lives of hard working people are reduced to a treadmill of long days filled with constant traffic, work and trying to hold it all together.

"This election is about quality of life," he continued.

"It's about the day to day lives of hard working families, living in communities across this city, and across our country. It's about choices and priorities. About whether the Government will put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the super-wealthy few.

"Labour's plans for Dublin will help Dubliners to create a city which is an engine of economic growth, but also a place to live, to work, and to bring up a family.

"Improving the quality of life for hard working families is exactly what the Labour Party was set up to do.

"It is what this election should be about."

Labour's Ten Point Plan includes:

- Getting Dublin Moving: in the short term with 500 more buses, and a 1 euro standard fare, and in the long-term extending rail, Luas and Metro lines.

- A First Class Health Service for Dubliners: More beds, in clean hospitals, tackle the A&E crisis and put in place 600 new public community care beds in Dublin.

- Keeping Dublin Safe: More community Gardai, serving people they know in communities they know. Tackle the gangland criminals head on.

- New Solutions for housing: Labour's 'Begin to Buy Scheme' will allow people who are working to get a foot on the property ladder.

- Keep Dublin As Our Capital City: Stop the McCreevy decentralisation plan from undermining our public services.

- Developing Our Cultural Capital: Dublin needs a science museum - an interactive discovery centre to introduce children and families to science in a fun and entertaining way. Convert the GPO into a Central Lending Library for the City.

- Reclaim our Capital for People: Pedestrianise College Green.

- A Place for Your Child: fast-track the building of 21st century schools, and make sure school places are available when children need them.

- A Fair Deal for All Communities: Ringfence funding from the National development plan for investment in areas of multiple deprivation.

- Better City Government: A Greater Dublin Authority and a directly elected mayor, with responsibility for strategic planning, transport and Dublin Bay.

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