Living in Ireland has been much higher than other EU countries for an extended period of time. September’s Consumer Price Index indicated a 6.5% decrease on September 2008. However when Mortgage Interest Relief is removed from this, the real value decrease is 2.4% which is closer to the EU Harmony Index of Consumer Prices (HCIP) and more relevant to families living on low incomes or social welfare. In addition, costs in core areas including education and health actually continued to increase in September 2009 by 3.9% and 2.5% respectively
In the event of a decrease in Child Benefit increase the QCI and FIS payments relative to the cut in Child Benefit.
Families living in poverty have already experienced a 2% reduction in income due to the loss of the Christmas Bonus.
Reinstate 2008 staffing levels to class sizes are on the way to achieving the levels set out in the original Programme for Government once the current recession begins to lift.
Cap school transport charges at €250 per secondary pupil with a family max of €500 and keep the service free for primary school pupils and for those with medical cards. EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING Safeguard funding for homework clubs, after hours clubs and the necessary activities schools spend money on to keep children motivated such as choirs, bus trips, sporting and other events. Ensure Pre-school year is adequately resourced so that participating pre-school services do not have to charge parents top up fees to provide service.
Barnardos is concerned that using only an economic lens to tackle the difficult decisions facing the State will do enormous damage vulnerable children living in poor households. Need to think about the lasting legacy of Budget 2010 Proven that children whose mothers have higher educational attainments have better literacy rates. We have to improve the educational experience of children living in disadvantage to support them to stay in school longer.
Child Poverty Facts <ul><li>76,000 children continue to live in consistent poverty in Ireland; a figure we can predict has risen over 2008 and 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Children account for nearly 40% of all those living in consistent poverty. </li></ul>
Cost of Living <ul><li>In 2007, living in Ireland cost 11% more than the European average. </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer Price Index decrease in September 2009 – real value for many families living on social welfare or low incomes 2.4% not 6.5% </li></ul><ul><li>Qualified Child Allowance remained unchanged from 1996 to 2006 at €16.80 weekly finally increasing to €26 in 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>CPI: prices rose by an average of 3.69% every year between 2002 and 2008 </li></ul>
Barnardos Recommendations Budget 2010 Fairness and Proportionality
Social Welfare <ul><li>Protect the poorest children: Maintain the current rate of Child Benefit for families in receipt of Qualified Child Allowance and Family Income Supplement. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that the Family Income Supplement responds flexibly to changing working hours. </li></ul>
Social Welfare <ul><li>L eave the basic adult social welfare payment at its current rate to support children living in poor families. </li></ul><ul><li>Reinstate the Christmas Bonus for families with children. </li></ul><ul><li>Leave the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance at its current rate. Include eligibility to the scheme to all those earning up to FIS levels of income. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain current rate of the One-Parent Family Payment. </li></ul><ul><li>No further cuts to Rent Supplement until an impact assessment is carried out into the affects of existing cuts. </li></ul>
Education <ul><li>Roll out a compulsory national book rental scheme in all schools across the State. </li></ul><ul><li>Reinstate 2008 staffing levels to class sizes. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that all children who have a demonstrated need for a Special Needs Assistant can access the service in a timely way. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the National Educational Psychological Service with funding to ensure adequate psychologist coverage to all schools, ensuring resources are used efficiently. </li></ul>
Education <ul><li>Cap school transport charges at €250 per secondary pupil with a family max of €500. </li></ul><ul><li>Safeguard funding for homework clubs, after hours clubs and the necessary activities schools spend money on to keep children motivated. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure the pre-school year is of high standard and compliant with the Framework for Quality (SIOLTA) and the Framework of Early Learning (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). </li></ul>
Health <ul><li>Retain current medical card income guidelines and disregards, and allow those who find work to keep their medical card for two years. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that the promised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams are delivered. </li></ul><ul><li>Refrain from imposing a €5 charge for prescriptions for medical card holders. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Government needs to take long term future of next generation into account in Budget 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantage and poverty breed more disadvantage and poverty: intergenerational cycles. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just this generation who will be affected but their children and grandchildren. </li></ul>Lost Generation
We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many things can wait, the children cannot. Right now is the time their bones are being formed, their senses are being developed. To them, we cannot answer ‘tomorrow’, their name is ‘today ’. Gabriela Mistral