Fórsa has called for equality impact assessments on changes to welfare and benefit payments, as an upcoming Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) report found budgetary decisions in the past 10 years have had a disproportionate impact on women with children compared to their male equivalents.
Fórsa official and equality officer Andy Pike said the report’s findings demonstrated a need for equality impact assessments when making changes to benefit and welfare schemes.
“We welcome the report’s authors calling for gender impact assessments on tax-benefit policy changes. However, such assessments must be conducted before changes are implemented and should not be limited to gender, and also examine impacts on other groupings such as people with disabilities,” he said.
Andy said Fórsa has a particular interest in seeking equality impact assessments as 75% of the union’s membership are women. He added that seeking the introduction of impact assessments was a central part of Fórsa’s wider equality policy.
The ESRI report, which will be published at the end of this month, examines the gender impact of tax-benefit policy in Ireland over the past 10 years. It says within couples with children, women had less disposable income than men, particularly where incomes were not shared.
It also found that changes to welfare and benefit payments and schemes didn’t have a major gender impact on single men or women without children or couples without children.
You can find more information some of the reports findings here. The report will be published on the ESRI website at the end of October.