Goodbye and Thank You from the Equality Budgeting Campaign

The Equality Budgeting campaign, set up in 2012 to seek reforms to the budget process, is today announcing its cessation.

Having achieved its main goal of a government commitment to Equality Budgeting, the campaign is happy to hand over the reins of Equality Budgeting to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, which is tasked, in the current Programme for Government, with implementing Equality Budgeting. We are proud of the achievements of the campaign, which introduced the concept of Equality Budgeting to the Irish political landscape, and highlighted the closed nature of Irish budgets and the inequitable impact this was having on specific sections of Irish society. The campaign engaged in several, high-impact activities:

  • Private Members Bill to give effect to Equality Budgeting in the Dail in June 2013. The Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2013 was introduced by Sinn Fein and supported by all members of the opposition, although not by the government parties.
  • Organising a seminar on equality budgeting in the NWCI on 20th April 2013 (which included participation of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group and the Equality Coalition of Northern Ireland to learn from the Northern Irish and Scottish models of embedding equality in budgetary processes there.
  • The campaign built considerable support from elected representatives, who signed a pledge for a “fair slice” through equality budgeting in September 2013 (supporters included Labour backbenchers, and members from the opposition parties.
  • In October 2013 and 2014, we held a post-budget event with over 50 civil society organisations in the Mansion House, undertook a survey, and collated the resultant research.
  • Invited presentations to two Dail committees (on petitions, and on social protection), with the latter resulting in a study visit by the committee to Scotland to learn more about Equality Budgeting there
  • Numerous media engagement activities, including articles in The Irish Times, the Journal.ie and similar outlets
  • Submission and representation of the campaign at a hearing on women’s human rights by the UN CEDAW committee in 2017, the first such examination of Ireland to take place in over a decade. Read the CEDAW submission.
We are delighted that the Equality Budgeting Campaign has been instrumental in prompting a serious overhaul of the Irish budgeting system, which includes the setting up of a Budget Office and an Oireachtas committee on budgetary scrutiny. We hope that this work will now be continued by IHREC to ensure equality-focused budgeting, including impact assessments and evidence-based policy-making that will ensure a more equitable Ireland.
We thank all of the organisations and individuals who have made the work of the campaign possible over the last number of years.