The National Women’s Council (NWC) has called on the Government to invest in vital public services and social infrastructure in Budget 2022, including publicly-provided childcare.
Its pre-Budget submission contains a comprehensive set of budgetary recommendations designed to address the challenges faced by women following the Covid-19 crisis, which has amplified existing inequalities experienced by women.
The submission says women’s care responsibilities increased during the crisis, which also saw a disproportionate impact on women’s employment and health, an increase in violence against women and mounting pressure on community services.
NWC director Orla O’Connor called for investment in the care economy as a foundation for social and economic recovery. “This must include investment in our public services, including childcare, universal healthcare and social services,” she said.
The council wants the Government to use all its fiscal and monetary levers to invest in social infrastructure and public services to effectively fight climate justice, including borrowing at low interest rates and generating tax revenue through fair taxation. “This will create healthier and more equal societies which will support employment, sustainable productivity and additional tax revenue,” said O’Connor.
The NWC says Budget 2022 is an opportunity to significantly increase investment in a public, not for profit childcare model, a demand echoed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
It also calls for investment in paid parental leave, flexible work and a work-life balance that allows men and women to combine with work care and other interests.
On social welfare reform, it calls for €10 increases in all social welfare payments, with a view to increasing rates to the minimum essential standard of living benchmark for social welfare payments by 2026.
Read the NCW budget submission HERE.
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