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29 March 2007 Edition

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A quick guide to Sinn Féin economic policy

Writing in last week’s An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin’s Director of Policy, Shannonbnrooke Murphy debunked establishment myths regarding Sinn Féin economic policy. Here we outline the tenets underpinning Sinn Féin’s approach to the economy. 

Sinn Féin economic policy descends from the two foundational documents of the Republic – the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil – but like all our policy, it is wholly relevant and fit to lead us for the 21st century.

The basic tenets of Sinn Féin economic policy are as follows:

  • A single economy and economic sovereignty
  • Economy serving society, not the reverse
  • Public policy choices to build an economy that supports a ‘sinn féin’ society where wealth is shared, not a ‘mé féin’ society where wealth is extremely concentrated, as at present
  • Two main elements concerning wealth generation and wealth distribution:
  • 1) a strong economy to pay for programmes and services that will render the economy more competitive on modern lines and economic growth more sustainable, and that will ensure full employment; and
  • 2) an equal economy that is fully inclusive and hence more productive, where more are economically independent and generating wealth and where wealth is also distributed more fairly
  • The elimination of poverty (including food poverty, fuel poverty and water poverty) as a major economic goal
  • Rights-based economic governance that recognises economic rights including workers’ rights and the right of equal access to public services
  • Public investment in even development to ensure regional economic equality and the elimination of urban ghettos
  • An emphasis on supporting indigenous small and medium enterprises, social economy (non-profit community or co-operatively-owned) enterprises, and strategic sectors identified for growth
  • Provision of all-Ireland infrastructure and investment, including in research and development
  • Greater emphasis on generation of non-tax revenue through public ownership of profitable companies in strategic sectors (such as transport, communications and energy)
  • State regulation and intervention in markets as is justified by the public good (ie a regulatory focus on protecting public and environmental health and worker and consumer interests, and intervention to bring down prices including for housing and energy)
  • Taxation sovereignty, progressive taxation and taxation justice to bring fair taxation to the island for the first time in its history
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