Not Enough Investment for Children in Budget 2018
The Children’s Rights Alliance, reacting to today’s Budget, has welcomed some important decisions to improve the lives of thousands of children and families. There are also a number of areas where children have not benefited enough.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said: “The main news is that Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) got an additional €40 million. That makes sense since because Tusla never started with the resources it needed and this year made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This extra money will help with rebuilding our child protection and welfare system.
The other good news is that Government has stood up to big business and introduced a sugar tax on sugary drinks. Almost one in four children is overweight or obese in Ireland. Tackling sugary drinks will have an impact.
We welcome today’s announcement of an extension of eligibility for the extended free preschool year. This means that all children will receive a full two years of pre-school benefiting up to 20,000 children. Right now, some children who have not yet turned three by September cannot start the scheme until January or April of the following year. This universal approach means all families will benefit. However, this is not the year that childcare gets the big investment it actually needs.
All children who have parents on social welfare get an extra €2. We’re disappointed though that children over the age of 12 didn’t get a bigger increase. We know that teenagers are more likely to be living in deprivation and the Budget hasn’t addressed this. Unfortunately, there’s no extra help in this budget with the cost of going to school.
The Children’s Rights Alliance is currently analysing the impact of this Budget on children and families and will issue a detailed analysis later.
For further information, contact Emma McKinley
087 655 9067 / 01 662 9400
Notes to Editor
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive is available for interview.