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Call to deliver public childcare as part of Budget 2024

Published: Tuesday, September 05, 2023

NWC publishes “The Women’s Budget” with 10 Key Asks to improve women’s lives

The National Women’s Council (NWC) has called for a public childcare model ahead of Budget 2024. The organisation says public, not-for-profit, childcare is the best way to increase women’s equal participation in society. Among NWC’s other key asks are funding the government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy on Violence Against Women and increasing social protection and pension rates to ensure a minimum essential standard of living.

NWC Director Orla O’Connor said:

“Budget 2024 presents an extraordinary opportunity to support women, advance gender equality, and invest in services which improve outcomes for all women and girls living in Ireland. Government must prioritise the delivery of universal public services – which support the most marginalised – and avoid income tax cuts for higher earners. We have the resources. Now is the time to invest in the future – in an equal, sustainable, feminist Ireland.”

Eilish Balfe, NWC’s Care Officer, said:

“Lack of affordable childcare is the biggest barrier to women’s equal participation in society, including in the labour market. While the investment in last year’s Budget was a very welcome start, childcare costs are still unaffordable for many. International evidence shows that a public, not-for-profit, childcare model is the best way to ensure access to affordable, quality childcare for families and decent pay and conditions for workers. Government must commit to delivering a public model of childcare, alongside a further 25% reduction in costs to parents in Budget 2024.”

Donal Swan, NWC’s Economic Equality Coordinator, said:

“Reliance on one-off support measures will not protect women from poverty, or tackle income and wealth inequality in the long-term. Secure, predictable, benchmarked increases in social protection that ensure a minimum standard of living for all are needed. This is essential in supporting the most marginalised groups of women in our society. We’re calling for at least a €25 increase in all pension and social protection rates in Budget 2024. To protect women and other groups from the impact of low paid, part time jobs, and precarious contracts, we are also calling for a universal State pension decoupled from employment history.”

Ms O’Connor continued:

“The government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, published in 2022, provides a strong blueprint for the elimination of violence against all women and girls in Ireland. We’re today calling for a firm budgetary commitment to ensure the strategy is realised in full. It is also imperative that the new DSGBV agency is fully resourced to provide appropriate supports and multi-annual funding to essential frontline services.

NWC has 10 Top Asks for government. Alongside the above, we are calling for investment in universal health services, housing supports for women, climate justice, and promoting women’s leadership and participation.


For comment: Orla O’Connor, Eilish Balfe and Donal Swan

Find here NWC’s full pre-budget submission: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/National_Womens_Council_Pre-Budget_Submission_2024.pdf

and summary document: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/NWC_Pre-Budget_Submission_2024_SUMMARY.pdf

For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator, 085 8619087 or sineadn@nwci.ie

Please note we will send a picture for publication at the time of the launch


What: Launch of NWC’s Pre-Budget Submission: “The Women’s Budget”

When: 5 September, 11:30am

Where: online, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/launch-of-nwcs-pre-budget-submission-2024-tickets-704468423017


About NWC

The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

This year we celebrate 50 years since our foundation with a special calendar of events and campaigns.

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on www.nwci.ie