Budget 2020: Charities Not Included in Brexit Support Plans
The Wheel has welcomed the additional €17m allocated to the Department of Rural and Community Development in Budget 2020 but warned that there are currently no specific provisions to support the crucial work of Ireland’s 10,000 charities in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Commenting on the release of Budget 2020, Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy at The Wheel said, “We are approaching Budget 2020 from the perspective of what will it mean for Ireland’s more vulnerable people and the supports and services that they rely on – services that are most often provided by community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises.”
He continued, “There is no increase in welfare rates to support the people who will be most impacted by a no-deal Brexit. At current inflation rates, Ireland’s most vulnerable people will be 1.3% worse off by this time next year, and rates should have increased to prevent this. Government should have focussed on the people who will be most impacted by a no-deal Brexit in the same way that they have focussed on business, tourism and agriculture. The community and voluntary sector will be responding to increased need at the coalface, and we are calling on government now, post Budget, to invest in programmes that enable the community and voluntary sector to support vulnerable people.”
Ireland’s 12,000 charities employ over 190,000 people, mobilise over 350,000 volunteers and contribute over €7bn to the cost of our health and social services every year. Over 1,000 organisations are funded by the HSE to provide essential services in health and disability, and Tusla funds a further 700 organisations in the areas of child welfare and family support.
“We will be seeking to have this rectified when the details of these announcements are being implemented, either by Ministerial Regulation or amendments to the forthcoming Finance Act. We will also be seeking clarity that social enterprises will be able to access such supports.”
Mr Cooped continued, “We welcome the announcement that €1.2m will be allocated to the implementation of the Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sector. We also welcome the investment of an additional €29.4m in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and we will be working to ensure this funding supports our Tusla funded members in providing vital supports to children and families every day. We also welcome the additional €4.5m for training for Community Employment Scheme participants, which will greatly aid the work of many community organisations. An additional €1.5 m for important schemes in the Department of Rural and Community Development is also very welcome. Finally, we will be working to ensure that the €20m Integration Fund and a €12m Care Redesign Fund ring-fenced for Sláintecare will benefit the work of community and voluntary healthcare providers and the people they support.”