September 12th 2019
Yesterday, Peter McVerry Trust published our pre-budget submission for Budget 2020. This is one part of our ongoing advocacy work to bring about solutions to the needs of people and communities impacted by homelessness across Ireland.
Our pre-budget submission is informed by the needs of people in our diverse range of services. What we try and reflect are the solutions to the range of challenges faced by people in our care. While we can’t cover every single need and issue what we try to focus on is the key structural or systemic issues that can be addressed by our proposals.
For Budget 2020 we have identified three key areas to target preventing homelessness, increasing social housing supply and investing in education supports. Simply, they are all about reducing the number of people impacted by homelessness and moving to a point where we can see sustained long term reductions in the number of people who are in homeless services.
Once we have finalised the pre-budget submission the process is about using that document to lobby decision makers so as to inform the development of the budget. The number one target is the Minister for Finance and his officials as they hold the purse strings and despite what other Ministers might want and lobby for it is in effect Minister Paschal Donohoe who determines budget priorities. After the Minister for Finance our next Minister to engage is the Minister for Housing and then the Minister for Education. This work is then supplemented by work to inform TDs and Senators of our proposals and to ensure that we get cross party support for our solutions and that all public representatives understand the rationale and context as to why we are putting forward these actions.
To bring everything together we use the media as a platform to raise the issue, put forward our solutions and get the media and public talking about our ideas. The more conversation we can stir the greater likelihood of seeing a response from Government on budget day. In some ways the media be the most effective way of lobbying Government so securing media coverage is of huge importance. Ultimately, however the advocacy and lobbying path is not about column inches or broadcast minutes it’s about securing the adoption of our ideas and the implementation of our actions. Only then can we see an improvement in the issue of homelessness.
Read the measures proposed in our pre-budget submission here. We will be exploring the proposals in more depth on our blog in the weeks leading up to Budget 2020.
Our CEO Pat Doyle speaks about the proposals in the video below.