The Community and Voluntary Pillar launches a plan for Government to protect vulnerable people in Budget 2010. What do you think of it?

The members of the community and voluntary pillar held a press conference  this morning to demand that government adopts an integrated approach to Budget 2011, an approach that supports vulnerable people by ensuring that

  • our social services are protected  
  • and those who can afford to, pay more to fund the recovery

If Government take this approach in Budget 2011 there will be less hardship for thousands of vulnerable people.

At the press launch the Pillar pointed out that Ireland’s total tax-take has plummeted towards a record low and major reform is now required.

Ireland’s tax take as a percentage of our national income will be only 29.4% of GDP in 2010 according to the Government’s forecast in Budget 2010. This compares with an EU average of 39.3% of GDP. 

Ireland’s total tax-take has plummeted towards a record low and major reform is now required.

Only Latvia, Romania and Slovakia take a lower percentage of GDPin taxation than Ireland.   The implications for our public services will be severe if this low-tax approach is maintained – and vulnerable people will be those most affected.

Irish society cannot expect to have efficient, European-style public services unless we collect sufficient taxation.

The members of the CV Pillar argued that if we are to protect vulnerable people and fund services during the adjustment we require a Five-point integrated recovery strategy.  This strategy should consist of a combination of

  1. increasing the tax take while keeping Irelanda low tax country
  2. securing better value for money in the delivery of our public services.
  3. reforming the public sector[by implementing the recommendations contained in the report of the OECD].
  4. introducing targeted expenditure cuts where required while ensuring that vulnerable people are protected. [A good starting point would be the elimination of all the waste identified in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports].
  5. focusing expenditure on the common good to provide required infrastructure and public services.

We think that asking this integrated social and economic approach would spread the burden of adjustment fairly and would ensure that vulnerable people do not end up paying for the consequences of the many poor decisions taken by others.

What do you think?