Restoration of Community Supports vital in Budget 2024
Posted on Friday, 18 August 2023
The Community and Voluntary sector proved to be a vital part of the national response at local level to the pandemic, the recent increases in the cost of basic goods and services and in assisting new arrivals fleeing war and persecution to become part of their new communities. All this despite cuts to funding since 2008 never being fully restored. Government relies heavily on the sector and must therefore ensure adequate resourcing by allocating €50m in Budget 2024 to include pay increases for the sector.
Public Participation Networks (PPNs)
The PPNs across every local authority are another vital link between national and local Government and policy making. Long term investment in staff is key to keeping communities engaged with the process of participation. Social Justice Ireland proposes additional allocation of €3m in Budget 2024 to support capacity building and meaningful engagement with policy structures at local level.
1.58 million people in Ireland regularly participate in sports. This represents an drop of about 200,000 since 2019 and based on current population projections, an additional one million people will need to participate in sport on a regular basis in order to achieve the 2027 target set by the National Sports Policy 2018-2027. Research also shows that there is lower participation in sports in lower socio-economic groups. Budget 2024 should allocate an extra €2m to Increase investment in sports and recreation facilities, particularly in disadvantaged areas.
Supporting Integration into Communities
Ireland is a safe wealthy country that is now able to offer refuge to those fleeing war and persecution across the world as well as welcoming many who travel here for work and educational opportunities. Many who arrive here will need assistance in navigating various systems such as health, housing, work permits and financial services. Many who arrive here wish to participate and learn about their new communities. Social Justice Ireland recommends an allocation of €2m to support an Integration Officer for each Local Authority.
Forecasting For Change
Budget 2024 should allocate €0.5m to the CSO to support Forecasting For Change, a new method of population projection. This will be necessary if we are to allocate resources effectively.
Budget Choices 2024 is available to download here.