The Wheel are currently examining the priorities for the community and voluntary, charity, and social enterprise sector for Budget 2021 ahead of making our pre-budget submission to government later in the month.
We all know that Budget 2021 will be a crucial moment for the country, for the economy, for communities all over Ireland, and for the community and voluntary organisations, charities, and social enterprises who advocate for and deliver services and provide supports for those communities. Not only will Budget 2021 be a key moment in terms of stabilising the sector’s survival into the future, it will also have a direct impact on the sector’s ability to grow in line with the increase in demand for services, supports and advocacy we can expect to continue as the full and lasting effects of the COVID-19 crisis come to bear.
We would greatly value your input as to what you would like to see included in The Wheel’s pre-Budget submission. It is, as always our job to endeavor to best represent our broad membership’s shared priorities, and to ensure the budget benefits the work of the broad community and voluntary, charity, and social enterprise sector.
Budget 2021 – Draft Headers
We have structured our draft workings under the following headings:
Adequate and Sustainable Funding for the Sector
- Provide specific additional funding for the CV sector to move into COVID-19 recovery (an additional €125m will be needed to compensate the sector for income lost during the COVID-19 crisis).
- Invest in streamlining regulatory and funding-related compliance requirements and provide for the costs of compliance.
- Increase budget allocations for the Department of Rural and Community Development to ensure full implementation of the Five Year Strategy for the Sector and the Social Enterprise Policy.
- Introduction of multi-annual (three-to-five-year) funding arrangements as the default approach to facilitate better services, enable long-term planning and assist effective staff recruitment and retention.
- Charities VAT compensation scheme to be extended beyond its initial 3-years and funding ‘substantially’ increased.
Bringing Down the Cost of Insurance
- The unsustainable rise in insurance costs continues to put pressure on the the community and voluntary, charity, and social enterprise sector. The Wheel is committed to working as part of the Alliance for Insurance Reform (AIR) to ensure that community and voluntary organisations can continue to carry out their vital work.
- The new Programme for Government recognises that insurance costs are a hugely significant issue for community and voluntary groups. The Wheel calls on the government to take steps that ensure that insurance acts as a safety net that enables our economy and our society to fully function.
Resourcing for the New Strategies for the Sector
- Resourcing of Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector in Ireland 2019-2024, National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022, and publication of a strategy to support volunteering – as outlined in the Programme for Government
- Resource a comprehensive training fund for the sector.
Adequately Resource Health and Social Services, Child and family Services and Education Services
- Maintain and increase as appropriate budgets for health and social services, child and family services and education and community development.
- Continue to engage and support the work of the Department of Health Dialogue Forum – as set out in the Progamme For Government –
“Supporting the Dialogue Forum working with voluntary organisations to build a stronger working relationship between the State and the voluntary healthcare sector.”
- Implement the recommendations of the Report of the Independent Review Group on the role of voluntary providers in publicly funded health and social services.
Frameworks for Collaborative Working
- Develop a framework for collaborative working and provide resources and supports for mergers.
- Provide an allocation of €million to support collaborations and mergers where appropriate.
Have Your Say & Provide Your Input…
We invite you to provide us with your feedback and input on any of the above topics – or any other relevant issues that you feel should be addressed in our pre-budget submission – by replying to me here: firstname.lastname@example.org by next Friday, 17 July.
Please also include any and all info as to why these and other areas are important to achieve the priorities of your organisation in the period ahead, and most importantly how cuts in any areas could impact negatively on those whom you support. We will use this info in our public facing Budget 2021 campaign in September. Our Campaigns Manager, Sarah Monaghan, will be back in touch to seek permission to credit any of this information in advance of using anything in the public domain.
We all know it is the stories of our impact which resonate most with people – it elevates the figures on a page into the real-life impact which the Budget has on real people.
Thank you for working with us to strengthen this submission.