Labour Women reacts to Budget 2014

15 October 2013

Labour Women welcomes the introduction of free GP care for under 5s in Budget 2014.  Commenting on the Budget, Labour Women Chair, Sinead Ahern said “The introduction of free GP care for those aged 5 and under will go some way towards reducing the financial pressure on many young families.  Health scares and illnesses are never planned and the costs related to unexpected GP visits can have a huge impact on a tight family budget.  This new scheme will ensure that financial constraints will no longer determine whether a young child will receive GP care when they need it.  Labour Women hopes that this is the first step towards universal primary health care.”

Commenting further Ahern said, “We are also pleased to see that the pupil-teacher ratio has been maintained and protected and that provision has been made for the recruitment of over 1,250 new classroom and extra resource teachers.  The €5million that has been put aside for book rental schemes in schools is also a very positive move.  Labour Women has campaigned on addressing the high price of back to schools costs for over the last number of years and is pleased to see this scheme being introduced.”

“However, Labour Women is disappointed in the announcement in Budget 2014 that the rate of maternity benefit will be equalised to €230 per week.  Maternity benefit is a small contribution to the huge costs involved with having a baby and this announcement today represents the second successive budgetary adjustment to maternity benefit after the tax on maternity benefit was introduced in last year’s Budget.  This new equalised rate of maternity benefit will hit expecting mothers, in particular those who do not receive a top-up amount during their period of maternity leave and their young families hard at a time when many are already operating on a very tight budget.”

 

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