The new Irish government will recall all ambassadors to Dublin during the first 100 days of their administration to consult on how to sell Ireland abroad.
They will also consider allowing emigrants abroad to vote in presidential elections at Irish embassies around the world, a far cry short of what many Irish emigrant groups want.
The promise is contained in the program for government the Fine Gael and Labor party released yesterday.
They will also promote a new effort to make genealogy tourism a center piece of their strategy including making the 1926 Irish census available as soon as possible.
“We will promote genealogical tourism ….providing easy access to archives and tapping into an area of cultural tourism which is of huge interest to the vast Irish Diaspora,'. the document states.
They will also remove taxes on landing charges at Ireland’s airport in the hope of adding to the number of airlines willing to fly to Ireland from the U.S. and elsewhere.
There are also two striking promises, one to bring in laws to stop female genital mutilation which has apparently occurred with some Muslim families in Ireland and secondly to fill potholes in two days with a new website called fixmystreet.ie which allows residents to call authorities with problems.
The document also makes clear that the newly formed Fine Gael-Labour Coalition government will change the way Ireland is governed with immediate effect – with 25,000 civil servants set to lose their jobs as a result.
Details of the programme for government agreed by the two parties were made known to special delegates meetings of both Fine Gael and Labour in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.
Enda Kenny will be elected Taoiseach and Labour’s Eamon Gilmore as Tanaiste when the 31st Dail meets for the first time on Wednesday.
But those appointments are only the tip of the iceberg as far as the governance of Ireland is concerned according to the 64 page document outlining the new agreement between the Coalition partners.
Key details of the new deal include:
- The Department of Finance will be split into two Ministries, focused on fiscal planning and the banking sector
- A Fine Gael Minister will lead the fiscal planning Ministry, most likely Michael Noonan
- A Labour Minister will take charge of the banking sector, most likely Joan Bruton
- An Economic Council will be set up to ensure an equal decision making process between the two parties and to determine economic policy
- The two parties have agreed to reduce the national deficit to three percent by 2015 in line with the EU/IMF bailout
- The new Coalition will adhere to the first two year outline of the outgoing Fianna Fail-Green government’s four year plan
- Income tax will not be increased
- Social Welfare payments will not be cut
- Public Sector numbers will be cut, by 21,000 workers by 2014 with a further four to five thousand job cuts to follow
- Child benefit will not change in the immediate future
- Funding for Third Level education will be examined but any changes will not affect access to further education for all students
- The number of TDs will be reduced in line with the 2011 Census
- Ministers’ salaries will be cut, political expenses will have to be vouched for and severance payments for ministers will be cut
Fine Gael spokesman Phil Hogan told state broadcasterRTE: “The new government is going to hit the ground running to get confidence going again in the economy.”
Labour negotiator Brendan Howlin also admitted on Sunday afternoon that the incoming Coalition needs to repair ‘broken bridges’ with Ireland’s EU partners as it attempt to renegotiate the EU/IMF deal.
The Coalition deal will be discussed by Fine Gael and Labour delegates in Dublin on Sunday afternoon but both meetings are expected to endorse the proposal.
Further talks will be held on Monday to sort out how many Ministers will represent each party in the 31st Dail.
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