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Government must introduce equality budgeting – McDonald

15 May, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald TD today called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to introduce Equality Budgeting into the government’s revised budgetary framework.

Deputy McDonald was speaking in the Dáil this evening on the Ministers & Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Fianna Fáil’s ‘if I have it, I’ll spend it’ approach to fiscal planning did not serve this country well. Putting in place the legal framework to protect public expenditure into the future is a lesson well learnt.

“However we need to be very clear that legislating for multi annual budgeting safeguards is not a revelation of reform, it’s simply a solid step forward.

“Fine Gael and Labour’s Programme for Government commits to open up the Budget process to the full glare of public scrutiny in a way that restores confidence and stability. Yet Budget 2013’s announcement last December was shrouded in secrecy.

“The Ministers & Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012 offered the Minister for Public Expenditure to deliver on his reform agenda yet he has thus far refused to even consider the inclusion of equality budgeting in this new budgetary framework. Sound public finances and equality budgeting are two sides of the same coin.

“Equality auditing and impact assessments can provide relevant data for the government on how different sections of society are impacted by its economic and social policy measures. The current budget processes simply cannot achieve the best equality outcomes for society, particularly those hit hardest by disadvantage and unemployment. The evidence of this is all around us.” ENDS

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