Sinn Fein Seanad Finance Spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly has said today’s ESRI report on the impact of Budget 2014 and previous shows the need for Equality Budgeting. Senator Reilly today tabled a recommendation that would introduce Equality Budgeting into the Finance Bill, but this was not reached.
Senator Reilly said:
“The ESRI Report shows the poorest 10% in society have been among the hardest hit by Budget 21043 and previous budgets. Sinn Fein gave showed how we believe a fairer Budget could have been made which would have closed the deficit.
Among our proposals is the introduction of Equality Budgeting. This means each budget measure would be tested as to how it affects each group in society. Sinn Fein put down a recommendation today in the Seanad, as we did in the Dáil, to the Finance Bill which would compel the Minister for Finance to implement Equality Budgeting.
Sinn Féin has brought forward legislation which would make this Equality Budgeting a part of our budgetary process. The Labour party recently backed Equality Budgeting at their conference. It is time now for them to put this commitment into action.
Each year this government and the previous have brought in austerity budgets which have hit the lowest earners in our society the most. Equality Budgeting would put in place an equality proofing test for each budget measure which, as the ESRI report shows, is desperately needed.