Press Release Budget 2018: We welcome investment in welfare and services. Now we need a much more ambitious plan to fight poverty

European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland

Press Release on Budget 2018

10th October 2017 – for immediate release

We welcome investment in welfare and services. Now we need a much more ambitious plan to fight poverty

The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland welcomed some of the measures announced in Budget 2018 as a contribution to partially repairing the damage of the years of austerity and to reducing the burden of poverty for some of the 403,000 in consistent poverty.

The Network argued that the new plan to address poverty being developed in 2018 must take a much more ambitious approach to have a real impact on poverty and ensure that everyone has access to an adequate income, quality services and decent jobs.

Budget 2018 sees a €5 increase in all social welfare payments, although not for another 5 months, and increases in the income disregard for lone parents, the fuel allowance, a €2 increase for the Qualified Child Payment and a partial restoration of the telephone allowance of €2.50.

Robin Hanan, Director of EAPN Ireland said: “The increase in welfare supports are welcome and bring us closer to the levels before the cuts. However this still leaves hundreds of thousands of people well short of what is necessary for people to have a dignified life and escape poverty. We are disappointed not to see the full restoration for those under 26 years of age.”

He added that “Budget 2018 includes welcome increases in investment in public services, but given the huge deficits we are all aware of in social housing, childcare, health and other public services it is disappointing to see further tax cuts. Now is not the time for further these cuts”.

“This makes it even more urgent that the National Action Plan for Inclusion being developed in 2018 takes a really ambitious approach to the investments and policies needed to end poverty in the medium term.”

The Programme for Government makes an important commitment to the proofing of the budget and other policy to ensure they contribute to advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights.

Paul Ginnell, Policy Officer with EAPN Ireland said that “We need to see progress on poverty and equality proofing. We cannot have a situation again as we did in recent years where policies result in rights being lost and poverty increased. We have to get this process right and it must be a central part of the Government’s new national action plan to address poverty and inequality due next year”.

Ends

Download Press Release here.

Also see: EAPN Ireland Submission to Budget 2018.



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