Published date: 01 Aug 2023
Budget 2024 needs to set wheels in motion to realise the vision of the Government’s Child Poverty and Wellbeing Unit
Speaking in response to the publication today of the Government’s Child Poverty and Wellbeing Unit Programme Plan, From Poverty to Potential: A Programme for Child Poverty and Wellbeing, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said:
“In the past few weeks, we have seen the publication of several seismic reports into children’s care and wellbeing along with a further increase in the number of children experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In response to these challenges, the Children’s Rights Alliance has been calling for Budget 2024 to be a Children’s Budget. We need to see ambitious thinking and significant and strategic investment in children and young people to break the cycle of poverty that holds them back from reaching their full potential. We welcome today’s publication of the Child Poverty and Wellbeing Unit’s Programme Plan that outlines long-term goals for their work which has the potential to finally turn the tide on child poverty. Ending child poverty needs to take a whole of government approach and it is vital that Budget 2024 sets the wheels in motion for realising this vision.”
“The Unit follows the successful track record of high-level offices in Scotland and New Zealand that have steered progress in the right direction and delivered positive outcomes for children. Child poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life and the longer a child lives with the weight of poverty on their shoulders, the greater the risk of it casting a shadow over the rest of their future. The complexity of child poverty means that it cannot be the responsibility of any one department to solve this alone. It is positive to see that the need for cross-governmental and inter-departmental work is recognised throughout this Plan and has the potential to redesign the system to drive long-term change.”
“As a society, we know that is not right that children and young people are being pulled into poverty at a faster rate than any other age cohort in the country. Establishing a dedicated office at the highest levels of Government has the potential to change this reality for children and bring us closer to our shared ambition of ending child poverty in Ireland. This programme of work and the long-term vision of the Child Poverty and Wellbeing Unit now needs to be given the best chance to succeed. Realising this vision will take successive governments and successive budgets to continue to invest in children and to develop and deliver solutions that reach those most in need. Budget 2024 represents the first step in ensuring that the Unit can sustain a cross-departmental drive to end child poverty to the end of this programme of government to the next.”
For media queries, contact: Emma Archbold, [email protected] / 0879971410
Notes to Editors:
- Spokespeople from the Children’s Rights Alliance are available for interview.
- Read the Children’s Rights Alliance Pre-Budget Submission here.
- The Child Poverty and Well-being Programme Office Programme Plan is available here.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 145 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL #EndChildPoverty #ChildrensBudget24