Open Letter to Government: End Systemic Underfunding of Charities and Voluntary Bodies

Posted on
22 Sep 2022
by The Wheel

Open letter for the attention of : Mr Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance, Mr Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform

Dear Ministers Donohoe and McGrath, 

Systemic, long-term underfunding of charities and voluntary bodies that deliver essential public services now threatens the very viability of these services to tens of thousands of vulnerable people supported on a daily basis by our organisations. 

Cuts imposed following the economic crash of 2008, reversed for virtually all areas except in much of our sector, mean that delivery of  a diverse range of HSE, Tusla and homeless services is fast becoming untenable. 

This funding starvation means, for example, that an estimated 7,000 people approved for home care remain on waiting lists.  

The future sustainability and viability of public services must be addressed now.  

Next week’s Budget must provide an additional €100m in urgent funding and be combined with multi-annual funding provision.  

The new public sector pay agreement must be applied equitably to support recruitment and retention of all qualified public service delivery personnel in the voluntary sector. 

This issue can no longer be ignored 

The government has a duty to ensure that essential services for tens of thousands of families are not fatally undermined in the months ahead.


Suzanne Connolly, CEO Barnardos 

John Dolan, CEO, Disability Federation of Ireland 

Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel 

Alison Harnett, CEO, National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers 

Sharon Harty, Acting CEO, National Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Sector 

Fiacre Hensey, CEO, National Community Care Network 

Catherine Kenny, Chairperson, Dublin Homeless Network 

Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communications, Simon Communities of Ireland