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Josepha Madigan
Josepha Madigan
Fine Gael
Party 1


Incumbent :

Election history:

Josepha Madigan was elected to Dún Laoighaire-Rathdown County Council in 2014, and elected TD for Dublin Rathdown in 2016.

Party positions on the election issues:

These positions were provided by the party

Taxes and Spending

The government should prioritise putting money aside for future challenges (e.g. Brexit) rather than putting it back into the economy now

The government now takes in more money than it spends. Some argue that this should be set aside to prepare for shocks like Brexit or a sharp reduction in corporation tax revenue. Others argue that the priority should be putting money into the economy through higher public spending or tax cuts.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Annual budgetary packages will enable us to achieve a surplus of €3.8 billion by 2021. Achieving a budgetary surplus is the first line of defence for the inevitable shocks that the economy will face over the short- and medium term. "
1 of 27 questions

When there is scope for tax cuts or public spending increases, what should be done?

During the recession, new taxes were introduced and public spending was cut. Some argue that when possible, the government should cut taxes to put money back into people’s pockets. Others argue that the priority should be to increase public spending in areas such as housing and health.
Significant tax cuts
Some tax cuts and some increases in spending on public services
Significant increase in spending on public services
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Tax & spending is not a simple either/or. The key is good management of the economy to enable both. Maintaining a steady economy where we balance our books, invest in the future & deliver sustainable increases in living standards is the foundation on which our social & economic model must be built. "
2 of 27 questions

Should taxes on lower earners (below €35,000) be increased or decreased?

Currently, people earning under €16,500 do not pay income tax. People earning over that pay the standard rate of 20%. There is also the Universal Social Charge: those earning under €13,000 are exempt, while those earning up to €20,000 pay up to 2%, rising to 4.5% for earnings over that amount.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Fine Gael has consistently reduced taxes for the lowest paid. We will raise the USC exemption threshold from €13K to €20.K so people on low incomes like full time minimum wage workers, low paid part-time workers and people in receipt of modest occupational pension are not in the USC net. "
3 of 27 questions

Should taxes on middle earners (€35,000-€70,000) be increased or decreased?

The standard rate of income tax is 20%, which applies to all income up €35,300 (for a single person); earnings above that are taxed at 40%. The Universal Social Charge is 4.5% on income between €20,000 and €70,000.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"The average full-time wage is €47,596, but people start paying the top-rate of tax at €35,300. This is deeply unfair. We will change the point at which an individual pays the higher rate of tax to €50,000 over the next 5 years. This will prevent people’s taxes increasing as their wages increase."
4 of 27 questions

Should taxes on high earners (over €70,000) be increased or decreased?

The standard rate of income tax is 20%, which applies to all income up €35,300 (for a single person); earnings above that are taxed at 40%. The Universal Social Charge is 8% on earnings over €70,000.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"It is only fair that those who earn more should pay more in income tax - that our income tax system is progressive. According to the OECD Ireland already has the most progressive income tax system in the EU. "
5 of 27 questions

Should corporation taxes be increased or decreased?

Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5%, which is low by international standards. Many large companies pay a much lower rate in practice. This makes us attractive for multinationals, which are a major contributor to the economy; it has also led to accusations of Ireland being a tax haven.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Fine Gael is committed to the 12.5% Corporation Tax rate and the retention of national sovereignty over taxation policy. We will continue to engage constructively on international tax reform, while critically analysing proposals that may not be in Ireland’s long term interests. "
6 of 27 questions

Housing and Health

Should the local property tax rates be increased or decreased?

The standard rate of LPT is 0.18% of a property’s market value. This rate can be adjusted up or down by the local authority. The revenue raised is used to fund local services and some of it is redistributed to other local authorities. LPT currently makes up less than 1% of all tax revenue.
Increased
Stay the same
Decreased
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Local authorities should have the maximum level of discretion over how money raised through the LPT should be spent and the rates charged. Fine Gael is committed to a fair LPT. We will legislate for a local property tax that is based on the idea that most homeowners will face no increase. "
7 of 27 questions

A rent freeze should be introduced across the country

Currently, rent increases are limited to 4% in ‘rent pressure zones’. Some argue that there should be a blanket rent freeze, so landlords could not increase rents at all for a period. Others argue that a rent freeze would drive landlords out of the sector and reduce the supply of houses for rent.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"International experience shows rent freezes don’t work. To protect renters we will: Extend RPZs beyond 2021 if necessary; introduce legislation for tenancies of long-term or indefinite duration; continue the Residential Tenancies Board change programme; develop cost rental for cities & large towns. "
8 of 27 questions

Much more resources should be directed to building local authority housing, even if that means cutting back in other areas or raising taxes

Some argue that local authority house building should be increased dramatically, as there are almost 70,000 people on waiting lists. Others favour alternative methods of solving the housing crisis, such as encouraging more private development or providing more supports for people to rent or buy.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We are delivering the largest social housing programme in decades. Over the past three years, there has been a huge ramping up in the number of new homes added to the stock of social housing. Over the next five years, we will add at least a further 60,000 homes to the social housing stock. "
9 of 27 questions

The best solution to the housing crisis is to incentivise more building by private developers

To solve the housing crisis, some argue we need to incentivise developers to build more houses (e.g. by reducing taxes on construction or introducing harsher penalties for ‘land hording’). Others argue that the solution should instead focus on building more local authority housing.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"A range of options are necessary to meet different types of housing needs. We are delivering the largest social housing programme in decades and we are now seeing real progress. The most recent figures show that more than 20,000 new homes were built over the previous 12 months."
10 of 27 questions

There should be free health care for all, even those on higher incomes

Currently, only some people are entitled to a medical card or free GP care. Many people who can afford it choose to take out private health insurance. Some argue that there should be universal health care for most medical treatments, paid with public funds. Others say this would cost too much.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Fine Gael believes in universal access to healthcare. We will take the next steps this by extending free GP care to all children under 18, further reducing prescription charges, reducing the Drug Payment Scheme to a maximum of €75 a month and abolishing inpatient hospital charges for children. "
11 of 27 questions

Environment

What should the focus be for investment in transport?

Some say we need to reduce our dependence on cars, and invest in sustainable transport instead (e.g. buses, trains, cycling, walking). Others argue that failing to invest in our road network will damage the economy. Currently we spend more on roads than on public transport and cycleways.
Continue to prioritise investment in roads
Spread resources evenly between roads and public transport/cycle lanes
Cut spending on roads and invest significantly in public transport and cycle lanes
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Project Ireland 2040 sets out a ratio of 2:1 in favour of public transport to road transport. We will maintain that ratio into the future, but still ensure there is a strong programme of investment in new roads to improve regional connectivity (e.g., bypasses of congested towns)."
12 of 27 questions

New petrol and diesel vehicles should be banned in the next ten years

The draft Climate Action Bill aims to ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2030 in an effort to reduce emissions. Critics say that this is unrealistic.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We will increase our commitment to tackling climate change by enacting the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill in 2020. Accountability will be at the heart of this new law which will, among other measures, ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. "
13 of 27 questions

Should carbon taxes be increased?

Carbon tax applies to fossil fuels, e.g. oil, petrol, diesel, gas. It recently increased from €20 to €26 per tonne of CO2. The Climate Change Advisory Council recommends a rapid increase (€80 per tonne by 2030). Critics say that carbon tax disproportionately impacts those on low incomes.
Increased significantly (reaching €80 per tonne by 2030)
Increased at a more moderate rate
No increases
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Thanks to the work of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, there is cross-party support to increase the price of carbon to €80 per tonne by 2030. We know that this will not be easy for everyone. This is why we are committed to a series of incremental increases of €6 per tonne per year."
14 of 27 questions

There should be a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture

Agriculture is a key sector in the Irish economy. It is also responsible for 33% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Some have called for a new tax on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, but opponents say that would be too damaging to the agri-food industry.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We will work towards reducing agricultural emissions by increasing carbon sequestration, improving farm efficiency, animal breeding strategies, animal health and welfare policies and better use of technology. At the heart of this must be greater efficiencies and reduced input costs for farmers."
15 of 27 questions

Immigration, moral and social issues

Should immigration into Ireland be made more restrictive or less restrictive?

Non-Irish nationals make up 12.7% of the population, most of whom came from the EU. Work permits are issued to people from other countries only with a well-paid job offer in certain occupations. Some say immigration puts pressure on services; while others say it is needed to tackle job shortages.
More restrictive
Stay the same
Less restrictive
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Fine Gael believes that immigration from within the EU and from outside the EU is good for Ireland. Immigration has helped enrich our society, drive economic growth and staff our public services. We also appreciate that we need to manage migration in a balanced way to protect EU borders."
16 of 27 questions

More resources should be given to improving conditions for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers are housed in Direct Provision centres. Some argue that conditions are poor and have a negative effect on the physical and mental health of residents. Others disagree and argue that improving conditions would cost too much and could attract more asylum seekers to Ireland.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Significant progress has been made in improving services to applicants for international protection in recent years. Following The McMahon Report, we are moving towards an independent living model in all Direct Provision Centres."
17 of 27 questions

The liberalisation of abortion in Ireland has gone too far

The legislation introduced after the 2018 referendum allows for terminations for any reason up to 12 weeks in a pregnancy. Terminations are only permitted after this date (and before the foetus becomes viable) if there is a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Following the repeal of the 8th amendment to the Constitution, we legislated for the provision of doctor led termination service providing care at home and ending those lonely journeys to access healthcare abroad."
18 of 27 questions

Small towns and villages should not be forced to accommodate asylum seekers

There are approximately 6,000 asylum seekers living in Ireland. Many are accommodated in or near small towns and villages, where it is easier to find private premises to use as Direct Provision centres. In some cases locals have opposed this on the grounds that their town might be overwhelmed.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Direct Provision Centres are not about forcing small towns or villages to do anything. We have opened new Centres in recent months to address rising demands for international protection. We will develop new models of community engagement to ensure it is done in an inclusive & welcoming fashion. "
19 of 27 questions

The Church has too much control over Irish schools and hospitals

The Catholic Church runs a number of private hospitals. Most primary schools & many secondary schools are under the patronage of the Church. Some say the Church provides invaluable services in health and education, while others say that a Catholic ethos is being imposed against people’s wishes.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We want to provide more choice for parents as to what type of school they send their children to. We are opening new schools where parents have an opportunity to express their preference as to the patron and working to have at least 400 multidenominational and nondenominational schools by 2030."
20 of 27 questions

Political and constitutional issues

The reunification of Ireland would create more problems than it would solve

Some people are opposed to the division of Ireland and believe that reunification should happen as soon as possible. Others disagree on the grounds that Unionists in Northern Ireland do not want it, or because they believe it would be too expensive for the Irish government.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Bunreacht na hÉireann affirms our national aspiration for territorial unity. Fine Gael, the United Ireland Party, shares that aspiration, based on the principle of consent and a clear majority, north and south, being in favour."
21 of 27 questions

Irish citizens living abroad (including Northern Ireland) should have a vote in Presidential elections

A referendum on this has been proposed. Some argue that political participation should be a core aspect of citizenship, regardless of where you live. Others say that there are too many citizens living abroad, and that they may be out of touch with what is going on in Ireland.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We support extending the franchise at presidential elections to Irish citizens resident outside the State. This referendum will take place within the first year of Fine Gael being returned to Government. "
22 of 27 questions

A referendum on Irish unity should be held during the lifetime of the next government

The Good Friday Agreement allows for a referendum in Northern Ireland & the Republic on a united Ireland, if there is evidence that unification is desired by a majority. Some say that, in light of Brexit, a border poll should be held soon. Others believe this would be premature and divisive.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Calls for a border poll at this time are only likely to exacerbate division and uncertainty. Fine Gael will continue to work to build consensus across political parties and civic society – both north and south – on the most appropriate way to maintain and strengthen relationships on the island."
23 of 27 questions

The voting age should be lowered to 16

18 is the most common minimum voting age internationally, but some countries have reduced it to 16. Proponents argue that young people should have a say as it affects their future, while opponents argue that many 16-year-olds lack the maturity to vote responsibly.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"While the outgoing Government has accepted the recommendation from the Convention and is committed to the holding of a referendum to reduce the voting age to 16 years across all elections, no decision has been taken at this point in time on a date for the holding of the referendum."
24 of 27 questions

EU and international affairs

European integration has gone too far

Some people argue that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states, and powers should be returned to the national level. Others argue that further integration is necessary to tackle shared challenges and for economic stability.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"It is Fine Gael policy to support the building of a strong European Union focused on further integration where that benefits citizens and greater subsidiarity where appropriate. "
25 of 27 questions

Ireland should cooperate with other EU member states on defence

Ireland has recently joined the PESCO framework, which seeks to increase defence cooperation between EU states. It commits members to work together on military planning & increase defence spending. It does not create an EU army, but some oppose it because they see it as a step in that direction.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"Fine Gael is opposed to the creation of an EU army. We support greater cooperation with other Member States on security and defence matters to ensure that all our citizens are protected from new global threats. We will support Ireland’s continued participation in PESCO."
26 of 27 questions

Ireland should boycott Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories

A proposed law would make it an offence to import or sell goods originating in an occupied territory. Proponents say this will show solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Critics say it discriminates unfairly against Israel, and could undermine important links with the US.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion/skip
Comment:
"We are committed to a two-state solution as part of a lasting settlement in the Middle East. We are opposed to this Bill because it requires the Government to do something which is not in our power; external trade. Also, this Bill would isolate Ireland on the question of Palestine at EU level."
27 of 27 questions