Crime, the economy, health and 'green jobs': Day five on the election trail

Enda Kenny and Michéal Martin were canvassing in their own constituencies today

enda, kenny, micheal, martin, canvassing, constituencies,


Campaigning on day five of the general election has been the parties concentrate on crime, the economy, health and 'green jobs'.

The Taoiseach says all in his party are knuckling down to win the general election.

Enda Kenny was responding to reports that his party had a shaky start to the campaign, leading to crisis talks to re-assess strategy.

He says his party is out fighting to win every vote possible:

Fine Gael has again promised to abolish the Universal Social Charge - but will not offer any gains for people on six-figure salaries.

Launching its tax plans this morning, the party says an extra tax will be phased in for high earners as USC is eliminated.

The party also wants to raise PRSI contributions for low earners, but is promising higher unemployment benefit in exchange.

Michael Noonan says every taxpayer will be better off under each budget, with a phasing in of the 'USC and claw-back':

Fianna Fáil has highlighted the issue of crime outside a closed Garda station in Dublin, just a short distance from Friday's gangland murder.

The party says the time has come to impose harsh and severe sentences on those involved in the criminal underworld.

There has been widespread condemnation to the killing of 32-year David Byrne, who was gunned down in a Dublin hotel on Friday.

Fianna Fáil's Spokesperson on Justice, Niall Collins, said a Sentencing Council would advise on the appropriate spells in jail for those involved in organised crime, while respecting "the independence of the judiciary".

Sinn Féin says it'll add 800 consultants and 2,500 nurses across the health service if elected to Government. 

The party launched its healthcare proposals in Dublin earlier today - saying citizens should be able to access healthcare - as they need it.

They say the additional staff will come on stream over the Dáil term.

Spokesperson on health Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin says their plans are fully costed:

Meanwhile, Micheál Martin was campaigning in his Cork South Central constituency.

The party is not promising to get rid of the USC, but Deputy Martin says they will reduce it. He argues proposals to abolish it over five years are "over-the-top in terms of being realistic".

Labour talked about 'green jobs' this morning, calling climate change 'the biggest single challenge facing humanity'.

Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alex White says, "the opportunity to develop our ‘green economy’... will create and sustain thousands of jobs in the domestic economy and the export sector.

"We will do this by investing more in renewable energy – and in a more diverse range of renewables – and by increasing and accelerating our commitment to energy efficiency in our homes, businesses and public buildings," he added.

Separately, Joan Burton canvassed fans attending the Ireland-Wales match.