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Budget 2018 sees a rising tide in childcare and pensions but it will not lift all boats

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NWCI today welcomed Budget 2018’s increased investment in childcare and pensions, but it cautioned that broadening women’s access to pensions and increasing the affordability of childcare would have put more money in women’s pockets.


“We welcome the increased investment into childcare of 20 Million Euros. The extension of the ECCE scheme to two full years and an increased capitation rate for providers of the scheme are important measures to improve childcare provision. However, we are disappointed that the measures announced last year in relation to the Affordable Childcare Scheme are only being protected without any additional funding for a further increase made available. We are also missing Government measures to address the very low pay in the childcare sector that is incompatible with sustainable, quality provision. Until our childcare system is universal, the impact of our poor childcare infrastructure will impact on women and families. Affordability remains a massive barrier to women's full participation in employment and in public and civil life and we know that no changes to income tax bands or cuts to the USC will increase women’s living standards until the affordability of childcare has been tackled.”


Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“We welcome the increase in the State pension, yet we are disappointed that measures were not taken to address the indirect discrimination faced by women in the pension system. Although women predominately rely on the Contributory state pension to provide an income in their older years, they have considerably less access to state pensions than men. Women’s access was further reduced through the introduction of new contributory bands in 2012. It is disappointing that Budget 2018 did not reverse these 2012 changes, which would have benefited women in particular. Similarly, Budget 2018 is a missed opportunity to backdate the Homemaker’s Scheme to 1973 and, as recommended seven years ago in the National Pensions Framework, replace the Homemakers' Disregard with credits.”

Gender Budgeting

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“We are told that Budget 2018 will put more money in people’s pockets, through tax cuts and welfare increases, yet this approach will not lift all boats. There are other ways to put money in people’s pockets; investing in areas such as childcare, health and housing would make public services both more affordable and more accessible, and would tackle inequalities while also having a big impact on the cost of living. It is time that we had a greater analysis as to how the decisions made in the Budget will impact on women. We therefore welcome the Government’s commitment to working with NWCI to undertake a gender analysis of decisions made in Budget 2018, a process which has the potential to improve accountability, efficiency and effectiveness. We must focus on a continuous process of improvement for women.”

NWCI will be able to provide a more detailed analysis of Budget measures over the coming days.


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, Tel. 085 861 9087