IRELAND: Labour's manifesto for children

Ireland has the highest proportion of children in the EU, with almost one-quarter of our population below the age of 18. Yet, for too long, Ireland has fallen short of the aspiration that an independent Ireland would be one that treats all the children of the nation equally. Even during the boom years, thousands of Irish children left school unable to read and write; almost 200 vulnerable children died during the past decade whilst in state care; and Ireland continued to have one of the highest levels of child poverty in Europe.

Labour believes that children should have the best possible start in a world that has become vastly more uncertain and precarious. They deserve the joy and fulfilment that goes with a happy and healthy childhood.

A real commitment to the welfare of children today will have a lasting effect on their future lives as adults. In many crucial respects, the welfare of tomorrow's citizens - right up to old age - depends on the quality of their childhood and teenage years. Investment in children is an investment in all our futures. For Labour, the protection of families, children and childhood will continue to be a priority, even in these difficult times.

Summary of highlights:

  • Child benefit
  • Protecting children
  • Childcare and preschool education
  • Primary and secondary-level education
  • Literacy
  • Breaking the cycle of child poverty
  • Children's health and well-being
  • Supporting modern Irish families




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