The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) today presented the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD with a book of comments from the Irish public on the impact and reality of austerity.
The publics comments were submitted to the SVP campaign to end austerity budgets.
“We struggle on, each day, avoiding the phone calls, and hoping for a miracle. This is not how my life was to turn out”
“I am in a living hell, austerity has led me to complete isolation, financially, emotionally and psychologically. I have no desire to live other than to find some sense of security for my 15 year old daughter”
The online campaign also asked for comments and stories about the impact that cuts have already had. Many took up the call and told about reality and impact of their struggles. Many others expressed their despair and fears about what further cuts would mean for their families while calls for fairness and the need for hope were other strong topics.
“SVP is challenging the unfair burden which has been placed upon those least able to afford it. ” said Tom MacSweeney, SVP National Vice-President.
“We are asking Government to lead and make choices which will tackle Ireland’s budget deficit in a fair and equitable way in Budget 2014 and beyond.
“The messages we are sharing say more than any policy paper could, they compel our Government to listen and take heed. We need Government to respond and announce a budget for 2014 which does not cause further damage to our communities and citizens, but instead provides us all with hope and a future to look forward to.” he said.
For the last three months the SVP has been asking the Irish people to support its “Your Voice” campaign to end austerity measures in the coming budget.
“Today we continued our pledge to make the voices heard. We requested the Minister to bring this book of people’s comments to the attention of the Government” said John-Mark McCafferty, SVP Head of Social Justice. “We thank the Minister for agreeing to accept these samples of the voices we heard.” he said.
The book presented to Minister Burton contained about 300 comments which were representative of the public views expressed in the SVP campaign.
The SVP is also preparing a booklet with these comments for distribution to all members of the Dail and Seanad to make them aware of the impact of austerity on individuals and families who are struggling and to highlight the need for fairness in Budget 2014.