While the record €17.75 billion budget included many supports for businesses, jobs and the economy, Social Justice Ireland said that not increasing core social welfare rates was a failure.
"Despite allocating more resources than any previous Budget in the history of the State, the distribution of those resources was such that the gap between the poor and the better off will widen in 2021 and inequality will increase. This is a totally unacceptable outcome," said Dr Seán Healy, director, Social Justice Ireland.
Dr Healy, commenting as the group released its analysis and critique of Budget 2021, added: "In calculating how people’s incomes will change in 2021 it is important to realise that people with jobs are likely to see increases in their take-home pay in the coming year. Public servants will see an increase of 2% while the pay of other sectors is also expected to increase. In contrast to that, people on core social welfare payments depend on the Budget alone to increase their incomes."
The report also included points Social Justice Ireland welcomed in the budget and some they felt were a mistake.
Budget 2021 - Welcome
- Adoption of a counter-cyclical fiscal stance
- Financing for the Community Health Networks
- Acknowledgement by Government that tax and welfare are a single system
- Providing the finance to implement the McMahon Report and end Direct Provision
Budget 2021 - Regret
- Failure to increase core social welfare rates
- Failure to make tax credits refundable to address the working poor issue
- No progress towards just taxation