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Government ignores childcare workers in Budget 2018 – Mitchell

10 October, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has hit out at the Government over its failure to provide for any pay increase for childcare workers in Budget 2018.

Speaking following the announcement of the Budget by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Deputy Mitchell said:

“Childcare workers’ wages are far too low for the very important and highly-qualified work they do. Unfortunately, it appears that these workers have been totally ignored in this Budget. The Government seems unable to grasp the fact that it is next to impossible to increase the provision, sustainability and quality in the childcare sector without an increase in pay for workers.

“With our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin made a very conscious decision to take the side of struggling families, childcare workers and service providers. This Government clearly did not.

“Sinn Féin proposed a €40.58 million fund which would have allowed for an average of €1 per-hour, or €2,000 per annum, increase in childcare workers’ wages in advance of a much anticipated sector-wide pay deal. Overall our party proposed investment in early years services of nearly five times more than what we see in this Budget.

“The Government’s overall proposed €20million investment in the Early Years sector falls far short of what is needed. Once again we are seeing hollow promises being made to parents - but when it comes to the crunch, investment is simply too low to make a real difference to ordinary families.”

Deputy Mitchell added that the Government had completely failed to grasp the urgency of the crisis in our public services, particularly in terms of health:

“The Finance Minister’s allocation to Health is the equivalent of a net loss when pay deals and demographic changes are taken into account. It just appears they are not taking this crisis seriously. In my own constituency we have enormous hospital waiting lists yet there is nowhere near sufficient investment in health to deal with this growing problem.” 

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