#OurTimeToVote Our Election Manifesto

“Place Making” must be at the heart of a new Programme for Government. By emphasising the importance of place in how we work and do business, we are more likely to create a sustainable, balanced, and progressive economy.

Although unemployment is at its lowest level since the Celtic Tiger and job creation is at an all-time high, this prosperity is not being felt in all parts of the country. Underinvestment in infrastructure, particularly housing, has become

a threat to our competitiveness and to the overall sustainability of our economic recovery. The shortage of affordable, appropriate housing impacts employees and employers, having negative consequences on quality of life for many.

In recent years, the consistent priority of Chambers has been the need for rapid strategic investment in infrastructure to make up for the “lost decade” following the financial crash. Ahead of General Election 2020, the message of our members remains the same: The new Government must commit to efficient delivery of key infrastructure projects from transport and housing to energy and water. Retaining the National Planning Framework and Climate Action Plan is critical to the productivity and sustainability of the Irish economy.

Ireland also faces risks arising from international trade tensions which could be devastating to an economy as open as ours. Brexit is yet to have a dramatic impact on the economy but when the UK departs the Union (particularly if it fails to negotiate a new deal) our economy will take a severe hit. Many Irish businesses will suffer, increasing job losses and depressing growth.

Creating a social and economic environment that helps the country to grow, and our people prosper will require strategic investments and innovative policies that support the delivery of infrastructure, decarbonisation, if we are to transform ourselves into to a future-focused, inclusive country.

Along with the need for improved public transport, broadband and water infrastructure, we must rapidly transition to a low-carbon economy. Our collective inaction on climate resilience measures to decarbonise our economy mean that we risk breaching our 2030 climate targets. Substantial investment is essential if we are to limit our impact on climate change. This involves making significant improvements to our energy grid, introducing a planning framework that supports offshore renewable wind energy, and financing research projects that support decarbonisation.

More productive, efficient approaches to managing our economy must be matched by sustainable, inclusive policies that support job creation in the regions. With full employment approaching, we must improve labour force participation. Supports for flexible, inclusive workplaces that are family, age and disability friendly will encourage labour activation, improving health, well-being and productivity.

In September 2019, the Chambers Ireland organisation and our network of 40 Chambers pledged our support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which reflect the spirt and objectives of our work. Our network identified the goals we believe will best advance the sustainable economic development of our cities, towns and regions across Ireland. Within our Manifesto, we have used these five Goals as a framework for how a new Government can help our towns and businesses to thrive, while making our workplaces more productive, sustainable and inclusive.

Read the Chambers Ireland Manifesto HERE