NWCI welcomes investment in childcare and housing in Budget 2019
Published: Tuesday, October 09, 2018
NWCI welcomes investment in childcare and housing in Budget 2019 but questions delivery and pace of change
Press Release, 9 October 2018
In response to Budget 2019 announced today, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomed investment into public services, including housing, childcare and paid parental leave, which will benefit women but is concerned about the capacity of the Government to deliver and the pace of change for women.
“We welcome the significant increase in funding for the Affordable Childcare Scheme. The lack of affordable, quality, accessible childcare and after school care is one of the biggest barriers to women’s employment and participation in public life. In particular, we welcome the increase in the lower threshold bands that will support lower income families, including lone parent families. It’s disappointing that there was no reference to the need to improve pay for childcare workers, the majority of whom are women.”
“We also welcome the two weeks paid parental leave for mothers and fathers during the first year of a child’s life. This first ever paid leave for parents is a breakthrough for family friendly policies in Ireland. The fact that the leave is a separate entitlement, and not transferable between parents is also welcome, and an important recognition of the role that fathers have to play in ensuring a more equal distribution of care between parents. We welcome the intention to increase paid parental leave to 7 weeks but are concerned about the pace of delivering on this promise. International good practice suggests that parents should be entitled to 26 weeks paid parental leave, so that parents, mothers and fathers, will have a real option of taking care of their child during the first year.”
“The increased investment in housing, in particular the 1.25 million investment into 10,000 social homes, is welcome. However, the most critical and urgent issue is in the delivery of social housing in order to address the housing affecting so many families in Ireland today, and that’s where the emphasis for the Government must be in 2019.”
Social Welfare Payments
“We welcome the overall increases in weekly payments. This is a welcome step towards repairing the enormous damage done to households whose income became dependent on social welfare during the austerity years. In particular, we welcome the restoration of the income disregard for the one family payment which will support lone parents in employment. However, the impact of the cuts means that for lone parents with children over the age of 7 they will not benefit from these changes.”
NWCI will be issuing a separate press release after the detail of the health budget has been announced by Minister Simon Harris later today.
For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.