There are 1.3 million people experiencing deprivation in Ireland, an increase of 215,000 since this Government came to office in 2011. The numbers experiencing deprivation have almost doubled since the crash of 2008.
Budget 2016 was the fifth regressive Budget in a row. While it was not as regressive as in previous years and contained some gain for everyone, there was much more for the better off and far less for poor and vulnerable people.
While single unemployed people will gain €95 a year, single people earning €75,000 will gain almost ten times as much i.e. €902. In the case of couples, the unemployed will gain €157 a year while a couple with two earners on €125,000 a year will gain nine times as much i.e. an extra €1,408 a year.
A new Caritas Europa study, reveals disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation in the five EU countries worst hit by the economic crisis; Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It also finds that the prioritisation by the EU and its Member States of economic policies at the expense of social policies during the current crisis is having a devastating impact on people - especially in the five countrie
Government has failed to protect the vulnerable according to the 17 organisations in the Community and Voluntary Pillar of social partnership.
In its five-point integrated recovery strategy which forms part of its submission for Budget 2011 (launched September 7, 2010) the Pillar argues that this failure must and can be reversed in Budget 2011. The key elements in the Pillar's strategy involve:
A proposal by the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan TD, to introduce a "new universal social contrtibution to be paid at a low rate on a wide base" provides major challenges to policy designers to ensure it is not a change that will benefit the better off while penalising those on low pay or on social welfare. The Minister has stated that the new social contribution will replace employee PRSI, the Health Levy and the Income Levy.