Budget 2010 was the most discussed, debated, analysed and awaited Budget in the country’s history. Never before has a Budget generated so much anticipation, concern – even fear – across all sectors of society. At home and abroad Budget 2010 was seen as the Government’s chance to show that it was capable of leading the country out of recession; and could demonstrate to international partners that Ireland can take steps to reverse its misfortunes and emerge strong. The McCarthy Report on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure (‘An Bord Snip Nua’ report) and the Commission on Taxation Report, both published in summer 2009, advised Government on how to achieve an overall budgetary adjustment of €4 billion. At Cabinet, it was agreed that this year the focus would be on cuts, not taxation.
In total, measures announced in Budget 2010 amounted to €4 billion in savings, made up of over €1 billion from the public sector pay bill, €760 million from social welfare, €980 million from day-to-day spending programmes, and €960 million from investment projects. With these reductions, the Government aims to stabilise the national deficit in a fair way, safeguard those worst hit by the recession, and stimulate the crucial sectors of the economy to sustain and create jobs.
This Wordle is drawn from the text in all the contributors posts.
As with all blog carnivals, my first task to is to thank those who contributed today: Elaine, Aoife, Danielle, Fergal, Eilonoir, Deirdre, Mairead and Vicky.
Please find all the blog contributions below:
The only task left to me is to close this blog carnival. Today, we have discussed the rights affected in a very academic sense. What we have done is show you the reality of this budget for a segment of the population living in the Republic of Ireland. This budget will have a minimal impact on some, a more appreciable impact on most, and a noticable impact on the less well off.
Rather than draw conclusions from the posts above, I will allow you to draw your own conclusions. Did we neglect to discuss the dire economic situation which Ireland is facing? Did we properly discuss the fact that billions of Euro are being spent on bank and business subsidies? Did we properly question the whole economic system upon which Budget 2010 is based? Is the economic system which much of the world has in place conducive to human rights protection? These are issues not only for the Republic of Ireland to face, but for the globe at large.
This post is contributed by our regular contributor Dr. Vicky Conway. You can read about Vicky on our Contributors page.
The most apparent implication of Budget 2010 for the criminal justice system has been the threat of strike action by members of the Garda Representative Association (covering circa 12,000 members of the force), on the basis of the public sector pay cuts. The government, on the advice of the AG has warned of the criminal implications of such action, a statement reinforced by the Garda Commissioner. Prof Dermot Walsh has argued however, that there is in fact no legal bar on strike action, only on joining a trade union. The GRA does not appear, at the time of writing, to have made a statement on the Budget, but given AGSI’s response, that it is ‘an attack on its members’, we may well see a ballot of GRA members on strike action in the coming weeks. Let’s not forget other workers, such as prison officers, who may also choose to strike. In the past prison strikes have required Gardaí to serve in prisons, which clearly is problematic if they too are striking.
This post is HRinI’s final contribution to the 16 days campaign. It relies heavily on the National Women’s Council of Ireland Pre-Budget Submission 2010. Whether or not this budget represents a last ‘big push’ towards economic recovery, for many Irish women it is not a push from manageable to bearable. It is a push from just about bearable to unsupportable.
Women had tended to enter this recession on a weak footing, because many women work ‘flexible’, informal and part-time jobs which enable them to find time for caring responsibilities within the family; these, of course, are still a significant factor in women’s career decisions. Women in such jobs have tended to lose ‘hours’ as a result of the economic downturn. (Caring responsibilities have also exerted pressure from another direction as some employers have cut back on supports for family women in an effort to save money).
You can learn more about Danielle Kennan and Fergal Landy on our guest contributors page.
Before reviewing the child specific impact of the 2010 budget it is important to take a whole child/whole system approach by highlighting the overall impact on low income families and the knock on effect this will have on children. TASC, an independent economic think tank, describes this budget as ‘particularly harsh for those struggling to survive on low incomes’, as ‘reinforcing inequality’ and delivering ‘cuts that will impact hardest on those at the bottom of Ireland’s incomes heap’. Over the coming weeks the potential impact of cuts on children that are not immediately evident require a comprehensive child impact assessment of this budget using the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a reference point.