THE National Women’s Council has developed a list of 10 priority asks for women in Budget 2023.
The NWC is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. They have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.
Their Budget 2023 wishlist includes:
1. Access to universal public childcare
Deliver a universal, public childcare model starting with an additional investment of €250m in 2023 to address affordability for low-income families and workforce pay.
2. Tackle the cost of violence to women
Fully fund the implementation of the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, including the accommodation plan and refuge spaces.
3. End poverty
Increase core social welfare rates by €20 to address the impact of inflation and ensure progress towards a Minimum Essential Standard of Living.
4. Ensure income doesn’t impact contraceptive choice and bodily autonomy
Extend universal, free contraception so women have real contraceptive choice and access to the most effective forms, targeting women from 26-35 in 2023. Additional investment: €45m.
5. Address lone parent poverty
Establish a Statutory Child Maintenance service to ensure adequate and stable income for lone parents. New minimum investment: €2m.
6. Support marginalised women’s voices and organisations
Do this through increased funding to women’s civil society organisations.
7. Access to housing and accommodation
Invest in a major State-led housing programme for provision of public, affordable and cost rental homes and accommodation to mitigate against the high cost of housing on lone parents and low-income families. Double investment to €3bn.
8. Tackle rising energy costs and climate change
Provide deep retrofits for low income families and invest in urban and rural public transport.
9. Protect low income workers
Increase the Minimum Wage by €1 per hour.
10. Support all families to work and care
Increase Maternity, Paternity and Parent’s Leave payments to €280p.w.