GE2020: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil launch their manifestos

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have launched their election manifestos promising billions of euro in tax cuts and spending increases.

Changes to the USC, increases in the state pension and policies on housing and health formed a large part of the promises.

Just hours apart Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil outlined what they would do if elected to government.

First Micheál Martin promised to provide an alternative to the current government, which he said would “tackle the scandal of record waiting lists” and strengthen the economy.

Leo Varadkar set out what he would do with five more years in Government Buildings. He said his Government would introduce “fairer taxes, more help for first time buyers and a better deal for Irish families”.

On the key issues of health and housing – Fianna Fáil promised an SSIA style savings scheme and a large build of affordable rental homes.

Fine Gael vowing to expand the help to buy scheme and to build more social housing.

Leo Varadkar promised €5 billion more for the health budget over the next five years.

Micheal Martin saying he’d double the National Treatment Purchase Fund to tackle waiting lists.

Both promised a €25 a week increase in the state pension

Both said they’d tackle the cost of childcare – Fianna Fail by increases in the universal childcare subsidy and Fine Gael with an additional €400 million for the sector.

Lots of detail for voters to analyse but no mad promise today out of left field from the two largest parties