Budget 2018 Commitment to Equality Budgeting Welcomed by Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) welcomes the publication today, alongside Budget 2018, of a policy paper on Equality Budgeting by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform. The publication shows progress in setting out, for the first time, a focused approach to equality budgeting in the 2018 budgetary cycle.

Minister Donohoe, acknowledged in his budget speech to the Oireachtas,  the work which has been carried out to date, and committed to continuing work with the Commission on equality and gender proofing. The Minister stated:

“I am also pleased to say that work on equality and gender proofing of the Budget continues. The Government is working with partners such as the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to achieve the goal set out in the Programme for Government relating to equality and gender proofing of Budget measures.

“Concrete steps include cross-departmental workshops with the Commission, examination of international best practice and the development of a policy document which will be published today. This afternoon, I want to reconfirm that the Government will continue to provide leadership in this area. We will work with the Commission and others active in this field to ensure that equality and gender proofing is delivered.”

The May 2016 Programme for a Partnership Government, set out a commitment to “develop the process of budget and policy proofing as a means of advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights.” The Programme for Government further committed to drawing directly on the expertise of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to support the proofing process.

The Commission, represented by Chief Commissioner Emily Logan, Commissioner, Dr. Mary Murphy, and Director Laurence Bond, addressed the Oireachtas Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight in July 2017, for the second time, as part of its strategic work to advance human rights and equality budget proofing.

To support efforts to develop human rights and equality budget proofing, over the last year the Commission has:

  • engaged with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform specifically on incorporating equality budgeting into Ireland’s medium-term expenditure framework;
  • facilitated a seminar with officials across Government departments with roles in the budgetary process;
  • published a series of factsheets on budget proofing and equality, and is working to build knowledge on the application of budget proofing mechanisms;
  • focused on the statutory public sector obligation on all public bodies including local authorities and Government Departments to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect human rights, as set out under section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. The Commission has rolled out a programme of capacity-building, pilot projects and information provision on this Public Sector Duty;
  • The Commission has also worked recently with specialists in budget proofing to produce content for a special open access edition of the academic Journal Administration, published in August 2017, focusing on human rights and equality proofing.

Today’s Equality Budgeting policy paper progresses the Programme for Government commitment to budgetary and policy proofing as a means of advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights.

The Commission looks forward to this being built upon in future budgets to explicitly address poverty proofing and the realisation of economic and social rights. We believe that future budgets should be assessed against human rights principle of maximising available resources to progressively realise human rights.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Notes to editor

The full text of the Budget 2018 Policy Paper entitled “Equality Budgeting: Proposed Next Steps in Ireland” is available at the following link: http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2018/Documents/1.Equality%20Budgeting%20-%20Proposed%20Next%20Steps%20in%20Ireland.pdf

The special open-access edition of the academic Journal Administration, published in August 2017, focusing on human rights and equality proofing is available at the following link:https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/admin.2017.65.issue-3/issue-files/admin.2017.65.issue-3.xml

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

 

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