Thursday 26 September
Children cannot afford any more cuts under this Government
Today in the Oireachtas, Tanya Ward Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance called on the Government to 'make the money match the rhetoric' and not to cut spending on children.
Ms Ward presented the Alliance's pre budget submission to the Joint Committee on Health and Children.
She called on the Government to
- make no further cuts to child benefit
- restore the Back to School Clothing and Footwear allowance
- ensure the new Child and Family Agency has the funding it needs to do its job effectively
'The latest CSO figures for childbirth in Ireland are showing a natural increase of 13.4%. Despite the economic hardship people are under we are still having babies. This is a figure many countries would envy and augurs well for the future, but only if these children are protected and their families supported', she said.
'The Department of Social Protection's own analysis show that those with children were hit hardest in last year's budget. Child benefit has been cut four consecutive times, saving €100 million but with no redirection of even some of these savings to low-income families.
This is socially and economically regressive', Ms Ward said and the tide needs to be turned in favour of progressive budgeting that will give the greatest return in the future.
On the new Child and Family Agency, she said this was a significant milestone. 'However, if cuts are imposed on the Agency it will be disastrous for its even before it has even gotten off the ground. This does not bode well'
'We all accept the economic situation this county faces but we can still make choices. We can choose to invest in children and support their care and nurturing, we can choose a progressive model and we can make the money match the rhetoric.
Or we can choose a short-sighted, regressive path where children suffer and their families struggle. This is in no one's interests and will cost more in the long-run '
For further information, the Children’s Rights Alliance full pre-budget submission is available at http://childrensrights.ie/resources/pre-budget-submission-2014