Making Just Choices in Difficult Times

November 12 2013, 04:02pm

Community and Voluntary Pillar Budget Briefing and Press Release

23rd October 2012

Today at a briefing to Oireachtas Members the Community and Voluntary Pillar (CVP) called on the Government to make decisions that are fair and just, that protect the vulnerable and ensure that the cost of Ireland’s restructuring is fairly spread.

The CV Pillar spokesperson noted that “a society defines itself by the cuts it makes and the people it protects”. Much of the public debate in recent months has been dominated by a narrative that suggests Ireland has no choices: this is untrue. Difficult choices face Ireland but options do exist. Choices exist even within the terms of Ireland’s Bailout Agreement with the ‘Troika’.

The spokesperson continued “The Troika on several occasions has said that it is the duty of Government to protect the vulnerable in the adjustments being made in Ireland”.

The CV Pillar believes that the decisions made by Government should be made on the basis of the answer to a single question: where should Ireland be in ten years’ time? The core values that should inform the answer to this question are: human dignity, sustainability, equality and human rights and the common good.

The CV Pillar proposes seven key initiatives it believes should be part of a strategic approach to resolving Ireland’s current problems in Budget 2013 and beyond. The CVP is calling on the Government to:

  1. Ensure protection of the vulnerable is at the core of all decisions made.
  2. Bring Ireland’s total tax-take up to European average levels.
  3. Reverse the current ratio of tax increases to expenditure cuts.
  4. Dramatically increase investment which is essential to generate the jobs that are essential for recovery. (This can be done in a way that keeps it off the Budget arithmetic.)
  5. Protect the social infrastructure that is under severe pressure currently. This is crucial for services across the life-cycle from children to people of working age to older people to people with disabilities.
  6. Support the Community and Voluntary sector which provides a wide range of services but is currently being undermined by Government’s decisions to cut its funding as the demand for its services increase.
  7. Engage with the Community and Voluntary Pillar to promote social dialogue and good governance.

For further information on the content of this document please contact

The Secretariat

Community and Voluntary Pillar

C/o Social Justice Ireland

Arena House, Arena Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18

TEL: 01 2130724

About the Community and Voluntary Pillar

The Community and Voluntary Pillar is one of the five pillars of social partnership alongside the Employers Pillar, the Trade Union Pillar, the Farmers Pillar and the Environmental Pillar. The Pillar consists of seventeen organisations invited by Government to provide voice and representation for vulnerable people and communities in developing Ireland’s social and economic policies.

The members of the Pillar and their contact details are:

Age Action Ireland (Eamon Timmins, 087-968-2449)

Children’s Rights Alliance (Maria Corbett – 087-783-5057)

Congress Centres Network (Sylvia Ryan, 087-055-7025)

Disability Federation of Ireland (John Dolan, 086-795-7467)

Irish National Organisation of the

Unemployed (Bríd O'Brien, 086-608-9641)

Irish Rural Link (Seamus Boland, 086-249-1153)

National Association of

Building Co-operatives (Vincent Keenan, 087 9739113)

National Women’s Council of Ireland (Orla O'Connor, 087-648-3516)

National Youth Council of Ireland (James Doorley – 087 6483282)

Protestant Aid (David Wright, 086-255-7851)

Social Justice Ireland (Seán Healy, 087-237-5328)

The Carers Association (Catherine Cox, 056-775-3603)

The Community Platform (Paul Ginnell, 087-640-2200)

The Irish Council for Social Housing (Dónal McManus, 086-827-4950

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament (Máiréad Hayes, 086-349-8848)

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (Caroline Fahey, 086 0487535,)

The Wheel (Ivan Cooper, 086-809-3083)