New Programme for Government Acknowledges Key Role of Community & Voluntary Sector
Retention of Cabinet Minister for Community & Voluntary Sector vital, says The Wheel
The new Programme for Government offers significant potential for further development of the community and voluntary sector in coming years, especially following the economic and social consequences of COVID-19, The Wheel, Ireland’s representative body for charities, community and voluntary organisations and social enterprises, said in an initial response today.
Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel, said that, while detailed assessment needs to be made of the document, it acknowledges the key role of the community and voluntary sector and it contains a number of very positive commitments to support the sector, including:
- Full implementation of Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sector in Ireland 2019-2024.
- Supporting community and voluntary sector to recover and enhance its impact in the aftermath of COVID-19
- Supporting the Dialogue Forum working with voluntary organisations to build a stronger working relationship between the State and the voluntary healthcare sector
- Comprehensive insurance reform (as it affects the Community and Voluntary Sector)
- A commitment to social dialogue
- Building on the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022.
Deirdre Garvey said, “The Wheel looks forward to the implementation of these and other initiatives and to working with the new government when it is appointed.
“We appreciate that the delivery of the many positive commitments will be subject to finalising exact details and policy and budgetary provision. The Wheel will continue the positive engagement and work with the outgoing government that enabled the delivery of new policies and support for Government initiatives during the COVID-19 emergency.
“The existence of a senior Cabinet Minister and Department for Community and Rural Development enabled much of the progress in recent years. Retention of a Senior Minister with responsibility for the community and voluntary sector is, therefore essential in the incoming government,” said Deirdre Garvey.