Budget 2015 offers a chink of hope for families
Dublin, 14 October 2014 – This Budget provides a chink of hope that the economic recovery will deliver a fair and equitable distribution of wealth in society. There are strong indications the Government is moving in the right direction and we look forward to seeing concerted follow-up action, said Barnardos today, in reaction to Budget 2015.
Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, said, “Minister for Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, TD described this as a ‘milestone era’ and there are indications the Government is making decisions which offer some respite for the hard-pressed families who have borne the brunt of seven years of austerity.
“The increase of €5 for Child Benefit in Budget 2015, and a further additional €5 in Budget 2016, is particularly welcome as low income families have been disproportionately affected by the previous cuts. Universal payments are proven to more effectively combat poverty.
“The additional investment for Child and Family Agency, Tusla, bringing the total budget up to €635m is good news. This Agency must be adequately funded to provide desperately important services for our children and allow it to take action to deal with current waiting lists.
“And a restructuring of the USC taxes that raises the entry threshold to €12,000 and reduces the rate for subsequent bands will deliver relief to low earning households.”
June Tinsley, acting Head of Advocacy, said, “The promised investment to deliver more social housing is another key step and we look forward to seeing swift action to follow these pledges. We have seen how promises like last year’s pledge to deliver free GP cards to under sixes can quickly falter if they are not tied to a robust and realistic implementation plan.
“The measure to allow parents to retain their Qualified Child Increase for a period to facilitate them to take up a job will assist some families. However, the failure to invest in a subsidised childcare system will continue to prevent many more parents returning to work.”
Mr Finlay concluded, “Families who have been struggling - those forced into emergency accommodation or waiting months for essential therapies like speech and language for their children – must know the plan for Ireland’s recovery includes them, so they can even hope to regain the ground lost in the recent harsh years. A great deal more needs to be done in these areas.”
Note to Editors
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442
Irene Lawlor; 01 7080423, 086 3980441
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443, 086 3683071
Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat, by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children. Barnardos was established in Ireland in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity.