Budget 2021 has been described as a budget of Green Recovery which also protects the vulnerable by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan.
Speaking following today’s budget announcement by Ministers Paschal Donohue and Michael McGrath, Minister Noonan said that Government opted to invest in a society wide response to the pandemic and that a careful balance had been struck on social inclusion, protecting the most vulnerable, economic recovery and addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency. Minister Noonan said:
I believe that Government has responded to the needs of a society in the depths of a global pandemic, successfully distributing resources to help struggling business, tourism, the arts, disability and other sectors while recognising that as we learn to live with Covid 19, we still have a climate crisis to deal with coupled with severe pressure on our natural world.
He said that borrowing to front-load investment in our health services to manage surges in Covid 19 infection within the community was the right thing to do as well as ensuring that non-covid medical conditions, surgery and clinical appointments can be met by the recruitment of additional staff and capital resources.
"Economic recovery is to the fore within this budget. The deep retrofit of thousands of homes, creating a transport and mobility revolution, investment in renewables and in nature based solutions to climate are all labour intensive."
"So too within my own department and I’m delighted to say that we have secured a huge increase in our budget for built, archaeological and natural heritage. All of this investment will require a diverse range of skills; ecologists, conservationists, archivists who will be needed to implement the big ambition we have within the heritage division over coming years," said Minister Noonan.
“Some stand out measures include the removal of the €425 limit for the One Parent Family Allowance, the Qualified Child Increase, the expansion of the Hot School Meals scheme to 35,000 more children and the €100m investment in disability services and integration.” Says Malcolm. “But really there are so many progressive gains here, too many to mention.”
"In unprecedented times, this Government has delivered an unprecedented budget; one that is targeted, equitable and Green. Together we can get through this crisis and together we can envision a whole new way of doing things to move towards a sustainable and vibrant future," he concluded.