31/05/2018

Gender Equality Must Be Central To Budget 2019 - FF

Gender equality must be central to Budget 2019, Fianna Fáil's Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath, has said.

Deputy McGrath called on Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, to make progress on the recommendation to prepare an Equality Budget Statement as part of Budget 2019.

Deputy McGrath was commenting following the launch of the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee's Report on Gender Budgeting, which contains a number of crucial recommendations that are needed to address gender inequality within Irish public policy.

He said: "The State, through its expenditure and taxation decisions, must ensure that any budgetary decisions have been properly assessed from a gender equality perspective. The government needs to ensure that data is collated and that decisions are based on a proper analysis which takes account gender equality.

"The disastrous 2012 pension changes and the savage cuts imposed on lone parents by the last government had a massively disproportionate impact on women and were a result of the absence of any gender budgeting assessment.

"The Fianna Fail members of the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee are keen for Minister Donohoe to make progress on gender and equality budgeting as part of the Budget 2019 process. He should start with preparing and delivering an Equality Budget Statement to set out the government's strategy to ensure a fully equitable budget for all citizens," concluded McGrath.

Fianna Fail Brexit Spokesperson, and member of the Budgetary Oversight Committee, Lisa Chambers added: "There can be no scenario where decisions of the Irish State actively and negatively impact on the lives of women and girls. We have seen in the past that poorly thought out policy decisions have damaged our citizens. I firmly believe that if these proposals had been in place, these policy ideas would never have gotten off the drawing board.

"We have an opportunity now to improve our budget process to ensure that it is fair and inclusive, and does not disproportionately impact negatively on women," concluded Chambers.

(MH/LM)

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