The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has urged the public to support its campaign to end austerity budgets.
In his quarterly commentary on social justice the SVP National President, Geoff Meagher said, “The people we assist and those who are struggling throughout Ireland have suffered enough. We urge all those who want fairness and an end to austerity budgets to go online at www.svp.ie/yourvoice and make their voice heard.”
Tom McSweeney, national vice president made an appeal on Tipp Mid West radio last week. “Hope needs to be instilled in every person and the austerity budgets takes this away and makes people’s live more difficult. People, not numbers, have to be considered and there are many families out there striving to put food on the table.”
SVP released statistics about Ireland: one quarter of the population is going without basic necessities like nutritious food, adequate heating and warm clothing; over 730,000 people in Ireland are living in poverty; one in five of those in poverty have a job, many of these are self-employed, 232,000 children live in poverty and more than one in five people living in poverty had to go without adequate heating in their home last year.
Pat Myers, Managing Co-Ordinator of Tipperary Towns Citizen Advice Bureau is very concerned for one-parent families, the elderly and people on job seekers. “It’s the subtle small cuts that are causing a lot of problems. The household package for the eldery that helps them with ESB, phone and TV costs was cut in the last budget and the elderly are running scared with the reviews on medical cards and further reduction in income levels. We are also finding that the appeals on disability benefits are becoming increasingly complicated and any further cuts will cause more problems.”
The St Vincent de Paul believe that Government can choose to close the gap between Ireland’s revenue and expenditure while protecting vulnerable people.