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Irish charities unite to urge government to provide sustainable public services

The group offered their support in making a plan with government in order to stop the “downward spiral of cuts”

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SOME OF IRELAND’S leading charity organisations have come together to urge government to “produce a plan for sustainable public services”. They also ask that there be no cuts to the “social infrastructure” in Budget 2013.

Organisations representing the entire “lifecycle”, including the National Youth Council of Ireland, The Wheel, the Disability Federation of Ireland, Irish Rural Link, the Carmichael Centre, The Carers Association, and Older and Bolder held a joint conference in which they called for an end to the “downward spiral of cuts”.

In a joint statement, the group said that they were making the call on behalf of the “hundreds of thousands of people and communities” that depend on their services:

There are certain public service outcomes that people have a right to expect and we have to commit to providing. It is our collective judgement that public expenditure cuts to date have pushed our public services and social infrastructure beyond the sustainability point.

While understanding Ireland’s current predicament, the group said that government risked “doing severe damage to Ireland’s social fabric by the time the recession ends,” saying that “a successful economy depends on a successful society; we can’t have one without the other.”

The acting CEO of The Carers Association, John Dunne, said that recent cuts had led to a drop in the quality of both the service provided and the products used by his organisation.

Patricia Conboy, the director of Older and Bolder, said that recent cuts to home care services were illogical and were “a textbook example of the costs to citizens when governments fail to plan.”

Echoing this was the CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland, John Dolan, who said that services were needed in order to enable “people with disabilities to build and maintain productive lives.”

In closing, the director of advocacy at The Wheel, Ivan Cooper, said that the national networks and federations were offering their support to government in both “making a plan for sustainable public services and making the plan work.”

Read: Two thirds of charities report increase in demand for services >

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Paul Hyland

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