Leaving Nobody Behind: Protecting Citizens’ Rights and Entitlements Post COVID-19

CIB Highlights Citizens’ Concerns ahead of Budget 2021

Citizens Information Board (CIB) pre-budget submission.

The Citizens Information Board Pre-Budget Submission, Leaving Nobody Behind: Protecting Citizens’ Rights and Entitlements Post COVID-19 covers a wide range of issues informed by queries from the public to CIB funded delivery services during the pandemic. Covering both pre- and post-COVID-19 concerns raised by citizens to frontline staff, this submission focuses on critical policy areas around alleviating poverty and helping people return to work.

The current crisis has demonstrated that the need for income support is considerable across the population and it has also shown the value and importance of having responsive, effective, flexible, quality-driven public services.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the government acted quickly and introduced a package of social protection and labour market measures to support workers and their families. These measures, in effect provide an acknowledgement that pre-COVID-19 social protections and processes were inadequate and do not correspond with the real cost of living. The submission states that it is imperative that those households most at risk of poverty are prioritised in policies addressing the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19.

Recommendations for welfare-related reforms

The submission identifies some key priority areas for welfare-related reforms.

These include:-

Debt resolution and financial inclusion recommendations

In the pre-budget submission, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) set out the requirement for a ‘hybrid’ approach to debt resolution. This includes:-

Some specific debt and financial inclusion recommendations include:

The full report can be accessed at http://www.citizensinformationboard.ie/en/publications/social_policy/prebudget_submissions.html