At the conclusion of the Autumn General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the following statement was issued in relation to Budget 2017:
“Ahead of next week’s debate on Budget 2017 by members of Oireachtas
Éireann, bishops placed particular emphasis on the need for the budget
to support families, in particular low income and single parent families
and, in addition, the related issue of social housing and
In this regard bishops praised the pastoral work of the
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the focus of its pre-budget
“In terms of families and specifically childcare, recent cuts to one
parent family payment have reduced incomes of many lone parents in
employment; and have made it more difficult for others to take up work,
education or training.
“According to Focus Ireland, 6,525 people are at present homeless in
the State, while over 1,000 families, including 2,177 children, are
accessing emergency accommodation. Almost 90,000 households currently
qualify for social housing.
A further stark reality is facing thousands
of families, including children, who are fighting court orders for the
repossession of their family home due to mortgage arrears. Many of
these mortgages are now held by investment companies with little
sympathy for the plight of the families involved.
In addition, the
unprecedented rising cost of privately rented property is rapidly
forcing many out of this sector, and this burgeoning problem needs to be
addressed with families in mind.
“Bishops are asking legislators to prioritise the needs of low income
families, and target resources towards social housing and the homeless
in next week’s annual budgetary allocation of State resources.”