Key Changes in Budget 2021

Barnardos. (2020). Key Changes in Budget 2021.
The focus of Budget 2021 is investment in the resilience of the Irish people and the economy; children have demonstrated incredible resilience in this pandemic and continue to do so. Investment in children has never been more important than it is during this pandemic – particularly for the vulnerable children Barnardos works with who are living with mental health challenges, domestic violence and parental addiction. Certain measures contained in Budget 2021, for example those targeting the carbon emissions of older vehicles or the lack of additional funding for Early Years Care (ELC) or School Aged Childcare (SAC), betray the lack of equality proofing. Indeed, Barnardos and others have called for social protection rates to be benchmarked against a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) as developed by the Vincentian Partnership of Justice, and this was not acted upon. 1 Budget 2021 contains some key investments for children; but it remains to be seen if they will be sufficient to help children through this pandemic. What is clear to Barnardos, based on our experience helping children and families, is that significant investment in children must continue throughout the lifetime of this Government.