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Budget doom for Human Rights Commission and Equality Authority

14 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Justice, Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh has criticised the Budget provisions pertaining to the Human Rights Commission and Equality Authority.

Speaking after the publication of the Budget documents this evening Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"These agencies have increasingly important roles to play in terms of advocacy and ensuring that human rights are given effect. To date each has also acted as an independent watchdog over developments in their respective fields, vigorously calling government to account. They have built on their own experiences and developed public recognition for their exclusive expertise.

"The government may have claimed that their summer-time proposal to 'merge' the Human Rights Commission and Equality Authority was off but today's announcement that the two agencies' facilities, back office, administrative services and access for citizens are to be 'fully integrated' and their combined and already very small budget cut by €3 million will have the same negative consequence. This is akin to the amalgamation proposed. The impact of these important independent watch-dogs will be greatly diluted in the future." ENDS

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