Budget 2018

Budget 2018 could have been more ambitious and braver

Budget 2018 has provided some small gains for families, such as funding for frontline health services and investment in housing supports. However, it is disappointing that it fails to provide real solutions for the major challenges facing children today. The Government has not delivered on promises of a new era of politics. Budget 2018 lacks clear vision and ambition to advance children’s rights. In an effort to appease everyone it fails to create genuine opportunities or build solid foundations for children to thrive. 

The reductions in the rates of USC and increases in the standard rate tax band amount to a miniscule increase in take home pay for workers - roughly €4 per week, at a cost of approximately €335million to the state. These funds would be far better invested in services and could ensure clear waiting lists ensuring rapid access to health services, providing a truly free primary school system and significantly increase investment in early childhood care and education giving all children the best possible start in life.

Promises of promoting fairness and providing a sustained improvement in people’s lives failed to materialise. Real efforts to resolve the housing crisis and the badly needed investment in Tusla are welcome, as is the small additional funding for ECCE which indicates a commitment to improving quality and sustainability in the sector. But ultimately Budget 2018 has failed to invest in education or make any real commitment to lifting over 100,000 children out of poverty which should be a chief concern of a Government focussed on creating opportunities for the future and optimism for tomorrow.

Read our full analysis of how Budget 2018 impacts children and young people here: Barnardos' Analysis of Budget 2018

Read our press release responding to Budget 2018: Budget 2018 could have been more ambitious and braver

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