A Pre-Budget 2011 Submission from The Wheel - November 2010
Responding to Ireland's social and economic crisis in Budget 2011
A pre-budget submission from The Wheel - 9 November 2010
Government has said that everything must be on the table when it considers how to reduce its borrowing to 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2014. However, Government has then insisted that:
- Senior bond-holders cannot be asked to bear any part of the adjustment;
- The corporation tax rate cannot be increased;
- The Croke Park agreement must be honoured in full.
- A greater part of the adjustments will come through expenditure cuts rather than through tax increases.
This approach will lead inevitably to cuts to our social infrastructure and to serious damage being caused to sick, poor and vulnerable people and to the community and voluntary organisations that support them.
If we are to protect vulnerable people in Budget 2011 then we must sustain the upon which vulnerable people community and voluntary organisations depend.
While Government has stated that it will support these groups, its refusal to 'put everything up on the table' for consideration means that Ireland's weakest groups will take the major part of the public expenditure-cutting 'hit'. This is unacceptable.
We need to see Government's plan to protect incomes, services and supports that vulnerable people rely on - the only plan that should be "off limits" and a plan we have yet to see.
Voluntary and community organisations are key deliverers of services in the areas of social services (e.g. children and older people), social housing, helping the homeless and hungry, development aid, services for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, community development, assisting people in deprived urban and rural communities, women, sports and recreation, the arts, helping unemployed people and assisting disadvantaged groups (e.g. Travellers and lone parents). The demand on the services provided by community and voluntary organisations has increased significantly over 2010 and that demand is set to spectacularly increase in 2011.
- In Budget 2011 Government should maintain existing funding levels for all statutory funding programmes that community and voluntary organisations use to provide the services and supports vulnerable people rely on.
- Additionally, Government should engage community and voluntary organisations in the public service reform process to completely re-configure public services around the needs of people who depend on them and achieve value for money. Community and voluntary organisations will continue to play a big part in sustaining public services for vulnerable people and we ask Government to urgently engage with The Wheel on public service reform.
- Efficiencies delivered through such re-configured public services will release funds that can then be used to achieve savings-targets in Budget 2012 - without affecting the services and supports vulnerable people will depend on in 2011 and in future years
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