What Should Be Done

The Irish government should now introduce Equality Budgeting to put a halt to increasing inequality and poverty in Ireland. Although there have been different approaches to implementing Equality Budgeting internationally, all approaches aim at realising the following benefits of Equality Budgeting:

 

1. Increased levels of information

Equality Budgeting entails the collection of disaggregated data and impact assessment. This provides information that gives us a clearer picture of the effects of economic policies as they pertain to specific sections of society.

2. Increased levels of equality

In turn, this clearer picture enables us to see who is disproportionately impacted by particular policy measures, and who is experiencing inequality as a result of specific measures. Once this is known, inequality can be redressed as policy measures are reviewed and changed to ensure better equality outcomes for people.

3. Increased levels of transparency

By making impact assessments and equality audits publicly available, members of the public have access to information that critically affects them. Reforms to budgetary processes, such as more meaningful consultation of civil society organisations, or the publication of a draft budget, further add to a bottom-up approach to economic policy-making.