Budget 2022 must show firm commitment to tackling child poverty
Budget 2022 must show a firm commitment to eliminating child poverty by investing in a dedicated child poverty office to alleviate the further damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s according to the Children’s Rights Alliance, who were commenting today (08.10.21) in advance of Budget Day on Tuesday, 12th October 2021.
Speaking today, Tanya Ward, CEO of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said: “The cumulative impact of the Covid-19 measures will have major implications for a generation of children and young people across Ireland. Due to pandemic restrictions, school closures, the curtailment of services and parental unemployment, many children have experienced increased exposure to abuse, neglect, poverty, hunger, discrimination, and mental health.
“Child poverty has been an issue for many years, and we know that the pandemic exacerbated the experience of children already impacted by disadvantage and social exclusion. The ESRI warned early on that the pandemic could result in an increase in child poverty. Despite this warning, government policies have lacked a focus on children’s needs and their voices have been absent. However, we know that poor outcomes are not inevitable if action is taken now. Budget 2022 should remedy this response to date and at a minimum, demonstrate a commitment to tackling the problem.”
In its pre-budget submission, the Children’s Rights Alliance is calling on the Government to:
- Equip the Government to roll out national and local programmes to address child poverty stemming from the pandemic.
- Help families keep their heads above water by targeting social welfare increases towards children in families experiencing the most disadvantage.
- Provide increased funding for Tusla, youth work services and mental health supports in order to address the increased demand for interventions due to the impact of the pandemic.
- Stop a generation of children falling between the cracks by providing increased funding for schools given the exacerbation of educational disadvantage due to the pandemic; and,
- Deal with the explosion of images of child abuse online by committing additional resources to the Garda National Protection Services Bureau to investigate and prosecute profiteers that want to harm children.
Tanya Ward added: “Children and young people have paid enough. The Government has to use Budget 2022 and show political will to reduce the numbers of children living in poverty and to ensure that every child can have a decent childhood. No child should have to pay long term consequences for the lockdowns. We need to see Government commit to establishing a national office to address child poverty.
“Children are falling behind and some have left school altogether because of the pandemic. With Budget 2022, Government has the power to make sure no child is left behind. We need to see proper investment in education, youth and mental health supports."
“The Children’s Rights Alliance wants Budget 2022 to be a strong statement from the Government that they are serious about delivering for children and young people experiencing disadvantage.”
Contact: Emily Brennan / Niamh Breathnach, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 086-1658629 / 085-1461231, Email: email@example.com.
Note to Editors:
• Tanya Ward is available for media interview.
• A copy of the Children’s Rights Alliance Pre-Budget 2022 submission is here.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 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.