Community and Voluntary Pillar proposes 5-point plan for incoming Government

Posted on Monday, 21 February 2011

In its latest policy document, the Community and Voluntary Pillar, of which Social Justice Ireland is a member, has urged  that the time period for reaching the target of 3% of GDP in borrowing should be extended to 2016.  Below is a summary of the C+V Pillar's position which spells out  a 5-point plan which should be at the core of an incoming Government's agenda.

"The Community and Voluntary Pillar of Social Partnership does not accept the decisions taken by the current Government in the name of economic recovery. We believe that a smaller adjustment accompanied by a more realistic national recovery plan to reach the 3% borrowing target by 2016 would be a better option. The C+V

Pillar strongly urges the incoming Government to give top priority during its initial months in office to addressing the following four issues in a fair and just manner:

1. the scale of the social and economic adjustment is too severe

2. the pace of the adjustment is too fast

3. the distribution of the impact is unjust, and;

4. the negative impact it will have on Ireland’s potential to recover is excessive.

The C+V Pillar’s core principles and values as it develops its proposals include:

• Vulnerable people must be protected.

• Social Services and their supporting infrastructures must be protected.

• Public services - and the people who depend on them - must not be sacrificed to fund a superficial recovery.

• All national plans and strategies must include realistic proposals to support and protect vulnerable people.

• Those who can afford to do so should contribute more to the cost of recovery.

• An integrated social and economic recovery strategy is needed to share the burden of adjustment fairly.

The inclusive vision for Irish society set out in the framework action plan Towards

2016 should be part of any new national plans or programmes

An integrated approach to tackling the country’s current problems is essential if they are to be addressed successfully, and the C+V Pillar has developed a Five-point integrated recovery strategy, which involves:

1. Increasing the tax take while keeping Ireland a low tax country (through broadening and deepening the tax base and addressing tax-breaks as recommended by the Commission on Taxation).

2. Securing better value for money in the delivery of our public services.

3. Reforming the public sector.

4. Targeting expenditure cuts where required but ensuring that vulnerable people are protected. A good starting point would be the elimination of waste identified in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports.

5. Focusing expenditure on the common good to provide adequate infrastructure and public services.

Without an integrated recovery strategy designed to share fairly the burden of adjustment,  adjustment, and state investment made to date will be wasted."

The full text of the C+V Pillar's document may be accessed here.