One Family and the National One Parent Network attended the pre-budget workshop today – a much better interactive approach than previous years. One Family’s key messages and all of our ten solutions in our campaign 10 Solutions for Smarter Futures can be tracked in the Minister’s Department’s thinking about Budget 2014.
Work must pay; therefore in-work supports for those parenting alone must be delivered including:
- the reform of FIS;
- affordable, accessible and quality childcare;
- tailored supports for families so that the most disadvantaged are supported;
- outcome-based budgets which enforce departments to deliver joined-up thinking for the whole of Government prioritised. That helps to make public resources last, and aids decision makers in prioritising public and social investments that align with the services and supports that people, families and communities have told Government they need to achieve economic independence.
The Department of Social Protection’s budget is a key mechanism in delivering social investment. Our recommendations are aimed at ensuring that better supports are provided for families. Helping people to better participate in and benefit from inclusion in the economy and community will both encourage economic activity over the short term and provide a strong foundation for longer-term economic growth.
One Family looks forward to working with the government and other stakeholders in this transformation of Ireland’s antiquated social assistance system. As the transformation begins, it is crucial that existing programmes and allowances be kept in place. New supports and programmes must be fully implemented before cuts or reductions in current benefits are made. Incomes for people on social assistance are so marginal that every Euro counts, and every Euro is spent in the local economy which contributes to sustained local economic development.