Fórsa general secretary, Kevin Callinan has responded to Budget 2021, saying a key test of the Budget provisions will be to what extent the additional spending lessens inequality.
In a video message for social media, Kevin said Covid had worsened the inequality that emerged during the last financial crisis, and welcomed investment in public services that can benefit all citizens.
Kevin said: “But now we must also see an acknowledgement of the role of public servants. Not just during the pandemic, but also through the financial crisis too.
"We must say farewell to austerity and we must negotiate a new deal for public servants that provides recognition for the present and hope for the future,” he said.
ICTU general secretary, Patricia King criticised the Budget for failing to ensure sufficient support for low paid workers and low-income families, which she said created the risk of undermining the recovery in domestic demand.
Patricia said the Government could have been more ambitious in its approach, and criticised the decision not to restore the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to its previous level of €350 per week.
Patricia added: “Not only will these decisions make it difficult to maintain the sense of social solidarity that was evident in the national lock-down earlier this year, by putting less money in peoples’ pockets, they will limit the recovery in domestic demand, particularly in areas that do not have significant multinational sector employment,” she said.
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