If you discriminate against people due to their nationality or race, gender, sexuality or disability, are violent towards your partner or commit other human rights violations, indeed if you are a government that does so, well this budget is good for you! The agencies which work in this area have been savaged today.
There were 41 mergers or scrappings of government funded agencies announced today and the mooted merger of the Equality Authority and the Human Rights Commission which I blogged about recently has been downgraded to a sharing of back services.
The Agency which worked in the area of promoting interculturalism and supporting victims of racist attacks the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) has been scrapped.
However in examining the Book of Estimates of which little will be heard about today one can see that there are huge cuts being made to organisations and funding streams in the area of Domestic Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Disability, Equality and Human Rights.
Let’s take the NCCRI – It is supposed to be subsumed into the Office of the Minister for Integration – however that office has had it’s budget cut by 26%!!
The groups which work in the area of improving policy in the area of ageing, crisis pregnancy, women’s health, and cancer documentation are being taken into the Department of Health and the HSE. That’s the end of them and those issues then!
I’ve put together a quick list of some agencies and funding streams that have been cut in the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform.
The Equality Authority’s budget has been cut by 43% and the Irish Human Rights Commission has been cut by 24% – but the National Disability Authority has only been cut by 2%. There is something very fishy going on there – a case of not rocking the boat and thus you don’t get cut??
A sharing of backservices by the Equality Authority and the Human Rights Commission could not possibly save that much money – there will be policy implications with these cuts, monitoring and protection of the rights of the most at risk in Irish society have been put at risk.
You might note below that the Equality Tribunal has had a budget increase which will be no use if the agencies which might support people to take cases under the Equal Status Act and Employment Equality Act have been cut to shreds.
B.2 – Human Rights Commission 24% Cut
E.1 – Equality Authority 43% Cut
E.2 – Equality Tribunal 15% Increase
E.3 – Grants to National Women’s Organisations 5% Cut
E.5 – Cosc – Domestic, Sexual AND Gender-Based Violence 18% Cut
E.6 – Equality Monitoring/Consultative Committee 8% Cut
E.7 – Gender Mainstreaming And Postive Action for Women …. 45% Cut
E.8 – Office of The Minister for Integration 26% Cut
F.1 – Status of People With Disabilities 5 % Cut
F.2 – National Disability Authority 2% Cut
F.3 – Disability Projects 10% Cut