Women's Aid is a leading national organisation that has been working to address the issue of domestic violence in Ireland for more than 35 years. In addition to providing direct services to women, they also engage in training research and campaigning. As part of their current campaign, ‘One in Five Women’ they send out ’16 Facts for 16 days’ by email from the 25th of November to the 10th of December. Here they are in summary:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 9th 2011
The Irish Feminist Network has condemned the measures contained in the Social Welfare Bill 2011 which, they say, amount to an attack on women and children.
Co-ordinator Alison Spillane said, “While we welcome the Minister’s decision to remove the sections relating to cuts and changes to the Disability Allowance, this Bill still contains a number of extremely regressive measures which will make life even more difficult for thousands of people and serve to decrease domestic demand and stifle the economy further”.
“The changes to the One-Parent Family Payment, the reductions in Child Benefit for large families, the withdrawal of the multiple births grant, and the extension of means testing to HSE home helpers amount to a vicious assault on women and children, particularly those who are less well-off”, Ms Spillane said.
“We call on all TDs to take a stand for women and children and vote against the Social Welfare Bill 2011 in the Dáil today.”
In general Budget 2012 shows a continuation the same failed policies pursued by the Fianna Fáil/Green Party administration. The claim that this Budget is about ‘jobs, reform, and fairness’ does not stand up to the slightest analysis – the proposals it contains are short-sighted and poorly thought out. Austerity in isolation will not create either jobs or growth. In fact, the measures contained in Budget 2012 will take, at least, a further 15,000 jobs out of the economy – this strategy is non-sensical.
“Furthermore, women’s groups throughout the country will be disproportionately affected by the decision to cut funding to the National Women’s Council by 35% even though the resultant savings will have virtually no impact on the deficit.”
“The government had real choices in this budget. For example, introducing a third band of income tax on incomes over €100,000 could raise €760 million for the Exchequer and a temporary levy on corporate profits could yield nearly €900 million. Instead, they have chosen to focus on consumption taxes, such as the VAT increase, which are the most regressive form of taxation and will disproportionately impact on low income groups. This budget is an affront to the notion of equality.”
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