Kildare North TD Reada Cronin
The Budget has not come up to scratch when it comes to childcare, according to Kildare North TD, Reada Cronin.
The budget is galling for parents needing childcare, said Sinn Féin TD. “Ireland’s childcare fees are up there among the highest in the EU. What the Budget gives is paltry compared to what parents need.”
Deputy Cronin said Sinn Féin’s alternative budget would see the State pay childcare-sector wages and put money in parents’ pockets for their childcare costs.
She said Sinn Féin’s budget proposals on childcare were to Cut costs for parents by two-thirds,guarantee a living wage for workers and keep creche doors open.
Deputy Cronin said: “N Kildare has suffered severely with childcare closures. Families need affordable, quality childcare, but fees are too high and worker wages are too low. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and now the Greens have seen us sleepwalk into a costly, privately-run system that cripples ordinary working families. The reality is there can be no economic recovery without a childcare system that works for all. The Budget ignores that reality.”
The Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Bernard Durkan, said Budget 2021 will support the economy to address the immediate challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and a hard Brexit and help businesses to get back on their feet. “Budget 2021 is a significant package of nearly €18 billion. The size of this intervention is unprecedented in the history of the Irish State,” he said.
“Funding for the Covid-Enterprise Support Grant for the self-employed is doubled from €12 million to €24 million to help small and medium businesses. They are the lifeblood of our economy and we will continue to support them in their hour of need.
The Social Democrat spokesperson, Jennifer Whitmore, said the government badly failed in Budget 2021 to seize the opportunity to re-imagine the childcare system. “This was a once in a generation opportunity the government should have taken to rebuild a system that worked for children, for families, for employers and for the workers in the childcare system,” said the spokesperson for the party of which Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy is joint leader.
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon, said that with the threat of Brexit hanging over everything, the Budget provides the funding to enable us to further invest in the State agencies which support our agri-food industry, while also delivering for farm safety, and allowing for extensive research into how we can best meet the challenges of biodiversity and the Farm to Fork strategy.”
He said Ireland must continue to invest in establishing a premium position for our food and beverages in all markets, across the world as well as in the UK and Europe. His department is working with Bord Bia to lead a series of virtual trade missions with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand during November.