Budget 2015 needs to Focus on Families
30 September 2014
Presenting their Pre-Budget Submission Labour Women have called on the government to implement a number of measures which would help parents return to work. Measures include extending the Free Pre School Year Scheme from one to two years, as well as offering paternity leave.
Labour Women Chair, Sinead Ahern said, “Extending the Free Pre School Year from one to two years, would enable children under three years of age to avail of this scheme. Helping to reduce childcare costs, this scheme has proven to be a win-win for both kids and their parents. It provides children with a good start in education, and for parents it ensures that irrespective of their financial situation their child can enjoy the benefits of early learning.
“We are also calling for the introduction of paid paternity leave. This would mean that any disadvantage in the labour market from breaks concerning childbirth, which are currently solely borne by women, would be more equally shared by parents. The introduction of this type of family leave would also encourage the sharing of childcare duties amongst parents. The Government has an opportunity to change the face of family leave in Ireland with the upcoming Family Leave Bill, and we strongly recommend that paid paternity leave for fathers is introduced.
“We in Labour Women see Budget 2015 as an opportunity for the government to focus on our priorities as a country and to examine what course we want society to take over the coming years. It is an opportunity to ensure that every person living here is afforded the chance to fully participate in society regardless of gender, race or disability. We are calling today not just on our Labour colleagues, but the whole government to rise above the endless clamour for tax cuts and to instead choose to reinvest in people.”