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National Women’s Council calls on Government to invest in public services in Budget 2024

Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

At today’s Department of Social Protection’s annual Pre-Budget Forum (19th July 2023), The National Women’s Council called on Government to tackle gender inequalities by benchmarking social protection rates and investing in public services in Budget 2024.

NWC has highlighted the extraordinary opportunity presented by Budget 2024 to tackle the ongoing systemic inequalities faced by women in Ireland.  This will require significant investment in universal public services and infrastructure to ensure that no woman is left behind.

Women’s Economic Equality Co-ordinator Donal Swan said:

“The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has compounded the social protection cuts which occurred during austerity, and women have been hit hardest – particularly marginalised women such as lone parents, Traveller women, migrant women and disabled women.

Recent one-off increases in social protection measures have done little to provide security or a sustainable standard of living for women and their families, and Government cannot continue to rely on them. Increases in Child Benefit should be sustained, and linked to inflation to provide real income security for women and families.

Government must commit to benchmarking social protection rates and pensions to a level which provides an adequate standard of living for all. This requires an increase of at least €25 in this Budget, along with a commitment to further benchmarked increases based on average earnings.”


He went on to say:

“Lack of affordable, accessible, quality childcare remains the single biggest barrier to women’s equal participation in employment and public life. Government must provide for a further 25% reduction in childcare costs in Budget 2024, in tandem with the development of a public childcare model that will deliver childcare for all families who need it.  Income tax cuts for higher and middle-income earners will not help the majority of women, and one-off expenditures will not provide adequate security of income for the most marginalised in our society.”

Budget 2024 will be a vital opportunity to advance gender equality by committing to a secure and adequate standard of living for all. NWC is calling on Government to seize that opportunity.



For comment: Donal Swan

Find here NWC’s submission to the Department of Social Protection on Budget 2024

For more information, please contact Catherine Hearn, NWC Communications and Fundraising Officer, 087 1965300 or catherineh@nwci.ie


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