Budget 2022 MESL Pre-Budget Submission

Issued: June 2021

Budget 2022



The VPSJ welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Department of Social Protection presenting evidence-based policy recommendations, based on the MESL 2021 analysis of minimum needs and income adequacy.

The crisis arising from COVID-19 and its impact on individuals, families, society, jobs and the economy presents many challenges. The ESRI have warned of the potential for a sharp increase in child poverty due to the economic effects of COVID-19. The significant level of COVID-19 related job losses has mostly impacted on younger and lower paid workers, this creates the potential for long-term negative effects on the earnings and employment of the groups effected.

As our society begins the recovery from the pandemic it is crucial that the wellbeing of all is ensured, and that those on inadequately low incomes (whether already living with inadequate income when entering this crisis or those newly reliant on state income supports due to COVID-19) are supported through the measures taken in Budget 2022. The aspirations and commitments to building social solidarity, improving wellbeing, and achieving greater social inclusion set out in the Programme for Government and Roadmap for Social Inclusion are laudable. It is clear that a cornerstone of achieving these inter-related goals is ensuring a minimally adequate income. 

Decisions made now can make progressive steps towards benchmarking social welfare rates against the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living and so ensure that all households are supported to live with dignity at a socially acceptable minimum level, providing for wellbeing and social inclusion.