The new Programme for a Partnership Government was launched in May 2016. This new Government has committed to tackling unmet needs through budgets with an emphasis on prioritising public spending over tax reductions. SVP welcomes this pledge while also acknowledging the need to ensure value for money in service provision.
A new Government is now in place, which has promised higher levels of public investment. The long-term needs of the country must be put ahead of party and constituency politics, and those in leadership positions must focus on delivering on the commitments to fairness and public investment set out in the Programme for Government and in other existing national strategies. SVP sees an opportunity in the new cross party approach and looks forward to more creative dialogue with Government to secure better outcomes for those we assist.
Through direct and personal contact with those in need, SVP members see how inadequate incomes, particularly for those in low paid work, and lack of access to quality services damage people’s prospects and lives. Our 11,000 members visit people in their homes every week across Ireland. They see at first hand the impact of the housing and homelessness crisis, child poverty, educational disadvantage, and how living on low incomes affects individuals and families. Being priced out of rental housing and having poor or no access to adequate early years, childcare and after school supports blights too many lives and prevents many from reaching their potential.
Working for social justice is a cornerstone of SVP’s mission and work, alongside home visitation and empowering people to access education, training and other local supports. We are called to challenge the social injustices we see, to engage with Government and policy makers to propose solutions and to advocate for social change, as reflected in the words of our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam:
“I am asking that you look after people who have too many needs and not enough rights – people who demand with reason a greater say in public affairs, freedom from poverty, access to education and security in employment.”