SVP says Budget 2023 must assist in creating an equal Ireland

    The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is seeking a commitment from Government that the forthcoming budget will assist in creating an equal Ireland. 

     
    In its Pre-Budget Submission “The Cost of Surviving” launched today, the Society has set out a series of proposals which it believes must be addressed to help struggling families and the level of poverty in Ireland.
     
    SVP National President Rose McGowan said, “As a country we believe in showing compassion towards others and helping and protecting each other from harm. Yet, right now, too many live in poverty and many more risk falling into the trap. We all share a moral responsibility to ensure that everyone in our country has a decent standard of living.”

    We do not underestimate the challenges faced by policymakers at this time and understand that there are no easy choices. However, all choices must be underpinned by the principles of equality and social justice”.
     
    Last year SVP received 191,000 requests for help and provided assistance to the tune of €14.6m for people who could not afford food; €4.7m in supporting access to education and €4.1m for those struggling with their utility costs.
     

    In advocating the case for an equal Ireland, SVP cites a weekly gap of €49 between core social welfare rates and the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living; 200,000 children living in enforced deprivation; 29% of renters worried about eviction in the next six months; 25% of parents getting into debt to cover back-to-school costs; 37% cutting back on essential heating and electricity due to rising costs and over 250,000 customers in arrears on their electricity bills. 
     
    As well as investment in services in Budget 2023, SVP is calling for an increase in social protection payments ahead of projected inflation to ensure that people on low and fixed incomes can stay afloat in a sea of rising living costs and to prevent a rise in poverty. To do this an increase of €20 in primary payments, €12 for children over 12 years and €7 for children under 12 years is required. To address the growing issue of energy poverty, SVP is calling for an expansion of the Fuel Allowance to low-income working families. 
     
    Dr Tricia Keilthy, SVP Head of Social Justice said: “Investment in essential services like housing, childcare and education must go hand in hand with a social protection system that is strong enough to keep people out of poverty while out of work, living with an illness or disability, caring for a loved one, on low pay or in retirement. We know this is possible, but we need to see Government make the right choices in Budget 2023.
     
    SVP says it is critical that Government commit to benchmarking social welfare payments and minimum wages to an adequate level and in-line with living costs in the longer term. 

    Download the full SVP Pre-Budget Submission
     

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