Unfair, unjust Budget fails the vulnerable, damages the economy- 2010 Budget

Posted on Thursday, 10 December 2009

The unfair and breathtakingly unjust decisions made in Budget 2010 will damage Ireland’s economic development and social development.

This Budget is anti-family, anti-poor and anti-children. Government chose to reduce the income going to large numbers of Ireland’s poorest people while wasting money on a useless scrappage scheme that will have no significant impact on emissions but will see most of the money going to overseas manufactures.

In what appears to be an ideologically fixated approach to Budget 2010 Government has placed its faith in the failed neo-liberal economic model which caused many if not most of the current economic problems not just in Ireland but across the world.

Unfair and unjust

  • Poor people will take a bigger hit than those who are better off.
  • Reducing the income of those who are very well off so that they now will just be well off is very different to reducing the income and services available to those already in poverty so that they will now be living in deeper poverty without the basics required to live life with dignity. Yet this is exactly what Government has done.
  • People living in poverty (1 in seven of the total population, 18% of children) are being asked to endure greater deprivation. This is unjust and unfair.
  • The Government’s arguments based on falling inflation are profoundly ill-informed. They fail to recognise the fact that costs for poorer people have risen in key areas of their expenditure during the past year.
  • The failure to increase the tax-take significantly will mean that Ireland will continue to have one of the lowest total tax-takes in the EU.
  • The failure to raise the total tax-take substantially towards the EU average is the main reason that Government does not have the income to protect the country’s social services or promote its economy.
  • The introduction of a carbon tax is welcome but Government has failed to ensure that vulnerable people on low incomes or living in rural areas without access to public transport will not be big losers.
  • Cuts in the budget for social housing and supports budget will make it more difficult for many people to keep a roof over their head.

Social Justice Ireland is deeply concerned that Government has introduced such an unfair and unjust budget which is bad for Ireland’s economic and social development.

Budget 2010 lacks vision. It fails to provide the leadership that Ireland needs at this difficult time. It also raises serious questions concerning competence.

Adjustments of €4bn were required to stabilise Ireland’s fiscal situation. Social Justice Ireland published detailed, costed proposals showing how such adjustments could be achieved without reducing welfare rates or harming the vulnerable.

Decisions taken in Budget 2010 mean that Ireland’s poor and vulnerable people are being condemned to deeper poverty which may well persist for a lengthy period of time while those who created many of the county's current problems are either being rewarded or ignored.

This Budget provides no pathway towards a credible, desirable future that Irish people can strive to attain.

Government’s rhetoric about protecting the vulnerable and promoting the economy is not matched by its decisions in Budget 2010.

All in all a depressing, unfair and unjust Budget. Far better options were available that would have protected the vulnerable and promoted the economy. Government chose instead to favour those who are better off over the most vulnerable.

A society is measured on how it treats its vulnerable people. Using that yardstick this Budget has failed all of Ireland’s people.

 Budget Anaylsis and Critique can be downloaded here