The Wheel representing the sector: latest updates

The Wheel and our sixteen colleague organisations in the Community and Voluntary Pillar are continuing to work to protect vulnerable people, and the social infrastructure in place to support them, in Budget 2011.  The CV Pillar held a press briefing in Dublin on Tuesday 7 September at which the members of the Pillar were critical of government for failing to protect the vulnerable.  Pillar members proposed a five point plan to ensure the protection of the vulnerable and the improvement of public services during this recession.  

We are not just confronted with an economic crisis but also a social crisis

Ivan Cooper, Director of Advocacy with The Wheel and spokesperson for the Group, said  "As a group we want to highlight the fact that we, as a society, are not just confronted with an economic crisis but also a social crisis. It is very clear to us that vulnerable people and people experiencing discrimination and inequality have already been severely affected by cutbacks on much needed services and supports. These people, who had no hand act or part in creating the current economic downturn are paying too high a price in Government plans for recovery"

Dr Seán Healy, Director, Social Justice Ireland said, "Ireland's total tax take is one of the lowest in the developed world and it continues to fall as a percentage of national income. We are not a poor country, despite recent economic setbacks. If the Government adopts an integrated approach to recovery, which should include the protection of our social services and a policy of ensuring that those who can afford it will pay more, there will be less hardship for thousands of vulnerable people. There are many tax breaks in the present system which the Commission on Taxation recommended should be adjusted or abolished. Tax breaks are a recognised Government expenditure, which benefit a small minority who are better off - and should be abolished or adjusted as the Commission proposed."

Briefing the Oireachtas

The Pillar is seeking to follow up on the press launch with a special briefing for Oireachtas members on our 5 point Plan for Social and Economic Recovery on 6th October.

We are also currently engaged in a series of meetings with the main government departments (Finance, Social Protection, Health, Community Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs, Education) to explain our 5 point plan and to maintain a focus on delivering the high level goals contained in the national agreement, Towards 2016.

Please contact if you would like to know more about the work The Wheel is doing in this space as well as any particular details about the Oireachtas Members briefing on 6th October.