EB Campaign in the media

The Equality Budgeting Campaign makes regular appearances in the media. Follow the debate here:

Column: Human rights should be placed at the heart of budgetary decisions

Around 6.9 per cent of the Irish population live in consistent poverty; in order to break the cycle and support dignified living, the government needs to listen to the people affected, writes Saoirse Brady.

Read More: The Journal, 24th July

The very measures capable of shedding light on how to more fairly distribute the burden of austerity, and thereby counter inequality, are simply missing in the Irish context. Other jurisdictions, such as the UK, regularly conduct impact assessments and analyses to inform decisions concerning the public finances.

Not so in the Irish case. Budgets are devised in secret by four men (the self-styled “Economic Management Council” comprising the two Finance ministers and leader and deputy leader of the country), are completed with minimal consultation with the public and the legislature, and are devoid of analysis. By comparison, the Scottish budgetary process involves the publication of a draft budget (which can be debated before it is finalised), and an in-depth analysis of the equality impact of the budget. Research is done on the effects of budgetary measures on certain sections of Scottish society, and is presented alongside the budget on the Scottish Government’s website.

Read More: The Journal, 9th June 2013

A small group of skipping Santas took their place in front of Mr Kenny’s office. Dr Clara Fischer of the Irish Feminist Network said they were protesting against another harsh Budget.

“We decided to skip here today because so many families will have to skip Christmas this year,” she said.

Calling for equality-proofing of future Budgets, a practice adopted in other countries, Dr Fischer added: “We’re being told equality proofing has to be sidelined because of our current economic situation but that is precisely why equality needs to be maintained.”

Read more: The Independent, 18th December 2012

Anti-poverty campaigners have long called for Budgets to be poverty-proofed. This means looking at distributional outcomes prior to making decisions and informing the public of distributional outcomes in the Budget statement. Hard to imagine, but this is what accountable governments do.

Read it here: The Journal, 12th December 2012

Political editor Stephen Collins (Opinion, December 1st) stated “the Irish State has managed better than any other in the EU to protect the most vulnerable sectors in society from the worst hardships” endured during the course of fiscal correction.

Given that successive governments have refused to undertake impact analyses, which would provide information on how “vulnerable sectors” have fared since the beginning of the economic crisis, it is difficult to accept Collins’s statement, nevermind the certainty it seeks to convey.

The truth is that the State does not know how different sections of Irish society are impacted by governments’ economic policies, as the relevant disaggregated data haven’t been collected, and impact assessments have not been conducted.

Read it here: Irish Times, 5th December 2012

Ireland’s next budget is only around the corner, and people all over the country are bracing themselves for what is set to be another harsh exercise in cuts and tax increases. While much of this will be presented in abstract terms – a few percentages increased here, a few numbers decreased there – the very real effects of Budget 2013 will be keenly felt, especially by those already marginalised within our society. 

Read it here: Progressive Economy @ TASC, 29th November 2012

 

Today, on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Equality Budgeting Campaign has called on the Government to introduce measures “to put a halt to the growing inequality and poverty seen in Ireland since the beginning of the economic crisis”. The campaign coalition, which includes lone parent groups, disability organisations, migrant organisations, trade unions and women’s groups, among others, says that it is possible for the Government to reverse the current trend toward increased hardship for the poorest people living in Ireland…

Read it here: Politico, 17th October 2012

 

 A chara, – Successive governments have, since the onset of the economic crisis, overseen economic policies that disproportionately affect certain sections of Irish society. This is captured by studies undertaken by independent think-tanks, economists, and policy analysts, which clearly highlight the disadvantaging of women, people with disabilities and low income households, among others…

Read it here: Irish Times, 8th October 2012

RECENTLY THE FAWCETT Society, the leading civil society organisation working toward the amelioration of gender inequalities in the UK, launched its campaign against the disproportionate effects of austerity on women…

Read it here: The Journal, 14th September 2012