Tackling Poverty and Inequality must be the priority in Ireland’s Recovery

Published date: 
15 Jul 2015

A coalition of 17 different national organisations representing vulnerable communities across Ireland has called on the Government to prioritise tackling poverty and inequality in our society

The Community and Voluntary Pillar is seriously concerned that inequality will continue to rise despite signs of an economic recovery.

In their report, Making Just Choices, (see attached) the Pillar clearly outline the types of choices that the Government must prioritise if people who have taken the brunt of seven years of austerity can have confidence in a national recovery.

For the first time since the crash of 2008 there are additional resources available to the Government. Choices will be made about how these resources are to be used.

The Community and Voluntary Pillar has proposed seven key initiatives that should be part of a strategic approach to addressing inequality and poverty in Budget 2015 and beyond.  
Government must:

  1. Ensure protection of the vulnerable and promotion of equality are at the core of all decisions, in line with the State’s international human rights obligations. To this end all relevant policies and strategies should be subjected to a transparent social impact assessment at design and planning stage.  
  2. Bring Ireland’s total tax-take up to the European average
  3. Prioritise investment in infrastructure and services over tax cuts.
  4. Dramatically increase investment which is essential to generate the decent jobs that are vital if the recovery is to last.
  5. Protect the social infrastructure that has been under severe pressure in recent years. This is crucial for services across the life-cycle from children to people of working age to older people to people with disabilities.  
  6. Support the Community and Voluntary sector which among other things provides a wide range of services engages in advocacy and develops creative solutions to key policy problems. However, it is currently being undermined by the Government’s decisions to cut and/or change the nature of its funding as the demand for its services increase.
  7. Engage with the Community and Voluntary Pillar to promote social dialogue and good governance.

Failure to address these issues at this crucial stage of our recovery will embed levels of poverty in our society that are unacceptable and unsustainable.
For further information, please see below.

About the Pillar
The Community and Voluntary Pillar consist of 17 national organisations and networks, which represent various communities affected by economic and social disadvantage. The organisations are:


  • Age Action Ireland (Justin Moran, 087-968-2449)
  • Carers Association (Marian Mahon, 086-172-6589)
  • Children’s Rights Alliance (Emma McKinley, 087 655 9067
  • Congress Centres Network (Sylvia Ryan, 087-055-7025)
  • Community Platform (Paul Ginnell, 087-640-2200)
  • Disability Federation of Ireland (John Dolan, 086-7957467)
  • Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (Bríd O'Brien, 086-608-9641)
  • National Association of Building Co-operatives (Dermot Sellars, 086 306 7152)
  • National Women’s Council of Ireland (Orla O'Connor, 087-648-3516)
  • National Youth Council of Ireland (James Doorley – 087 6483282)
  • Protestant Aid (David Wright, 086-255-7851)
  • The Irish Council for Social Housing (Dónal McManus, 086-827-4950
  • Irish Rural Link (Seamus Boland, 086-249-1153)
  • The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (Máiréad Hayes, 086-349-8848)
  • Social Justice Ireland (Seán Healy, 087-237-5328)
  • The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (John-Mark McCafferty, 087 2363995)
  • The Wheel (Ivan Cooper, 086-809-3083)
Communty and Voluntary Pillar