Supplementary budget needed whatever the outcome of Brexit
The emergency budget introduced in October to deal with the impact of Brexit on the economy should be revisited if the latest agreement between the UK and EU is endorsed by the Westminster Parliament.
Budget 2020 is deficient in numerous ways but in four critical areas there is urgent action needed by the Government.
The failure to raise the minimum wage and the state pension means that the incomes of some of the most vulnerable are being cut in real terms. This situation must be rectified.
Budget 2020 is also lacking in any real attempt to solve the worsening housing and health crisis.
The promise of approximately €1.1 billion investment in extra social housing does not live up to its billing when examined, it also does nothing to deal with the structural issues underlying the crisis.
What the Minister must do is once again empower, through funding and recruitment, local authorities to provide for housing needs in their areas in line with the core demand of the SIPTU backed ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign.
Budget 2020 was an opportunity to support decent pay for educators in childcare and introduce a Living Wage. Instead, the Government chose to ignore the crisis of low pay and staffing in this vital sector.
A supplementary budget must grasp this opportunity to improve childcare so future generations in Ireland receive the best start possible.