Campaign Groups Responds to Equal Status (Amendment) Bill Vote
First Step Toward More Equitable Ireland Achieved
The Equality Budgeting Campaign, a group of over 30 civil society organisations, has responded to yesterday’s vote on the Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2013. The bill, which was tabled by Sinn Féin, would have placed a positive duty on all public bodies to ensure equality of opportunity. It would have added new equality categories to existing equality legislation, and would have introduced mandatory impact assessments on budgetary measures. Spokesperson for the campaign, Dr. Clara Fischer, said that “the campaign was delighted to have the support of Fianna Fáil, United Left Alliance, all Independent TDs, and former Labour Party members, Roisin Shorthall and Colm Keaveney, for this bill. Although the government voted against it, we feel very strongly that this is a turning point in our campaign.”
“We are disappointed that Labour, in particular, have voted against equality-proofing, and thereby against their own official party policy. However, the campaign for increased equality in Ireland continues, and has been given a vital boost by yesterday’s vote. To have the issue of equality and impact assessments, particularly in relation to the budget, discussed in our national parliament is a significant achievement. We look forward to working further with our supporters to make equality budgeting a reality in Ireland.”
Further information on the bill:
The Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2013 was tabled by Sinn Féin on Tuesday, 2nd July, as a Private Members Bill. The bill was defeated by the government, with 89 votes against 46. SF, FF, ULA, Independents and former Labour Party members voted in support of the bill.
About the Equality Budgeting Campaign:
The Equality Budgeting Campaign is a broad-based coalition of NGOs, trade unions and concerned individuals seeking the introduction of equality budgeting in Ireland. Members include the National Women’s Council of Ireland, the Irish Feminist Network, SIPTU, SPARK (Single Parents Acting for the Rights of Kids), Campaign for Labour Policies, and Union of Students in Ireland. The campaign was set up in light of research showing increased levels of inequality in Ireland and the disproportionate disadvantaging of certain sections of Irish society by successive governments since the beginning of the economic crisis.
- 1 in 10 people in Ireland experiences food poverty – Carney & Maitre, “Constructing a Food Poverty Indicator for Ireland using the Survey of Income and Living Conditions”, Department of Social Protection, 2012
- The deprivation rate of families headed by lone parents increased from 44.1% in 2009 to 56% in 2011
- The percentage of children living in consistent poverty increased from 6.3% in 2008 to 9.3% in 2011
- Those who are unemployed saw their deprivation rate increase from 34.3% in 2009 to 42.4% in 2011 – CSO EU SILC 2011
- Following a report on poverty in Ireland in 2011, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and Poverty called on Ireland to immediately implement a human rights review of all budgetary and recovery policies
Further information on equality budgeting available from here: