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Little has changed for thousands that seek SVP help

Little has changed or improved for thousands of households that seek help from St Vincent de Paul

SVP pre-budget submission seeks priority for investment in services

The past 12 months have been marked by economic growth and falling unemployment. But it is clear from SVP members that the most vulnerable in our society are not experiencing the benefit from these improvements. The Society is concerned that unless the deficits in our public services are addressed, the inequalities of past and present will deepen.

At the launch of its Pre-Budget Submission today (13th June 2017) SVP says that the long-standing problem of low income, coupled with the cost of education, energy and lack of services, have made life more challenging for an increasing number of households both in and out of work.

Last year 130,000 calls for help were received by SVP.

Its members also regularly visit individuals and families that are experiencing the stress and challenge of rising rents, the threat of homelessness and making do with poor quality and inadequate housing.

The Society is calling for a continued prioritisation of investment in services over tax cuts in Budget 2018 and future budgets. It says that a history of underinvestment in services has led to an over reliance on the market in the provision of essential services such as social housing. This approach has contributed to inadequate public infrastructure, impacting the extent to which people can take up employment, make work pay and stay out of poverty.

The SVP Pre-Budget submission entitled 'Bridging the gap; Investing for an equitable future’ sets out 25 ways in which short-term action and longer-term investment could help rebalance inequality in Irish society.

Its proposal includes critical and practical action that can be taken in Budget 2018 including:

  • Increasing investment to fund the building and acquiring of social housing units;
  • Increasing Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment in line with market rents;
  • Publishing the research and consultation on minimum energy efficiency standards in the rented sector;
  • Ending the practice of ‘voluntary’ contributions to schools by providing adequate funding to schools;
  • Bringing the SUSI maintenance grant back in line with the cost of living and restore the distance of the adjacent grant to 24km from the current distance of 45km;
  • Increasing the weekly allowance for children and families living in Direct Provision; and
  • A number of proposals to help lone parents take up employment and education.

SVP National President Kieran Stafford said “We want to see a roadmap from Government for all Irish society which ensures we are heading towards a positive and equitable future - where every child has a warm secure home, doesn’t go to school hungry, is included among their peers and receives all the necessary resources and supports at home, at school and in their communities to achieve their full potential.

View full submission


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