Watch Fergus Finlay Respond to the Budget's Impact on Families on TV3, December 8th 2010
Dreading December 2010 Report, November 11th 2010
Reality of Life for Children and Families Struggling with Recession, November 11th 2010
Press Release: Children With Nothing Left to Give Should Be Left Alone in Budget 201, 11th November 2010:
Children and families have been cast adrift by Budget 2011. Barnardos is seriously concerned that the cuts to Child Benefit, social welfare and tax increases for those on the lowest incomes announced yesterday will push children and families deeper into poverty and deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty increased by 26,684 between 2008 and 2009. 91,954 childhoods are now blighted by poverty and all the things that entails. That's enough children to fill the Aviva stadium twice.
The 4% cut to adult social welfare payments and the €5.30 cut to the Qualified Adult allowance on top of last year's €8 cut will mean that many children will go without one full meal every week. Added to this the €10 and €20 cut to Child Benefit will make fundamentals like heat and electricity difficult to pay for many families. Children living in disadvantage will be disproportionately affected by the cuts to Child Benefit. Families struggling to get by on meagre incomes are now facing the prospect of trying to trim budgets that have no fat.
Barnardos is already seeing the impact of the recession on children and families. On a daily basis, we see the stark realities facing some of the most vulnerable people in Ireland: increasing reliance on moneylenders just to get through the month, more children going hungry, more children waiting longer for crucial treatment for illnesses that demand early intervention, more children leaving school early, more young people getting involved in drugs and crime. Budget 2011 did nothing to protect these already vulnerable children from further poverty and disadvantage. On the contrary, it exacerbated their vulnerability and made their situation even worse.
Children's childhoods and futures are now on the line. Amidst the ruins of Ireland's economic collapse, they are the ones left scavenging for the scraps of a future. We will all feel the impact of our failure to protect them for generations to come.