The Society of Vincent de Paul 2010 pre-budget submission expresses a concern that this will be a period when the seeds of future social inequities are sown.

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Pre-Budget Submission

Click on link to download the full SVP 2010 pre-budget submission

President’s Introduction – Mairead Bushnell

We do not want to look back on this period as one when the seeds of future social inequities were sown; but one in which the values necessary for a socially just, fair and caring society emerged and were reflected in not just the actions of SVP, but of government and the public at large.

These are extraordinarily difficult and challenging times for the Society of St Vincent de Paul and those who seek our help. 2009 has seen a continuing increase in the number of calls for assistance received by our regional offices, with an increase of up to 30% being experienced in some areas, and we expect this trend to continue into 2010.

The experience of the Society over the last 12 months presents a sobering picture of the human cost of the recession and the struggle faced by families and individuals in these changed times…

The Society has seen at first hand how many thousands of people across the State have not seen their circumstances change during the Celtic Tiger years, as increases in social welfare were quickly absorbed by rising living costs. Already struggling to make ends meet, they now face the threat of proposed cuts in welfare payments and services with considerable trepidation.

The Society understands the need for economic stabilityand supports greater efficiencies in public services. It is worth remembering, however, that Ireland remains one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and that a long term social consideration should apply when considering cuts, particularly in education, heath and other vital public services.

This Pre-Budget submission identifies what SVP believes to be necessary in order to protect families and individuals across the State. We urge the government to avoid making the difficult situation now faced by them worse throughunwarranted cuts that will have some short-term financial effect but also longer-term social consequences. We do not want to look back on this period as one when the seeds of future social inequities were sown; but one in which the values necessary for a socially just, fair and caring society emerged and were reflected in not just the actions of SVP, but of government and the public at large.

SVP PROPOSALS TO GOVERNMENT ON THE BUDGET

The Society has pointed out that the incidence of chronic illness has been found to be two-and-a-half times higher for poorer people than for the wealthy.

It has pointed out in its Budget submission that there are people who now cannot afford the fees to go to a doctor and wait until they are chronically ill to go to hospital accident and emergency departments. The Society is also concerned that there is a lack of access to health services for children and young people with mental health difficulties, both in community and hospital situations.

  • In the absence of a Social Health Insurance model of funding public health care, the current medical card income guidelines and allowances should be retained.
  • The additional 40 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams committed to by the Government for delivery in the period 2006 to 2010 should be delivered upon.
  • The proposed 5 charge for prescriptions should not be imposed on medical card holders and those on the Long-Term Illness Scheme with incomes up to 35,000.
  • Hospital Accident and Emergency charges, if attending without a doctors referral letter, should not be increased.
  • Maintain level of Back to School clothing and footwear allowance.
  • Retain Exceptional Needs Payment.
  • No cut in Rent Supplement.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

For further information – www.svp.ie

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international voluntary Catholic Christian organisation.

Membership of the Society is open to anyone who can adopt our ethos. We draw our inspiration and energy from the Gospels and Catholic social teaching and attempt to live the core values (Love of God and Love of our neighbour) through an action oriented programme, working directly with people in need.

The Society has been in Ireland for 164 years and has extensive experience of working with a diverse range of people who experience poverty and exclusion. Through a network of over 9,500 volunteers, it is strongly committed to working for social justice and advocates the creation of a more just and caring society.

With an annual budget of approximately 56 million in 2008, funding is raised by corporate and public contributions, internal collections and government support for projects tackling social exclusion. Members make a contribution towards our administration cost at each weekly meeting.