Direct Provision and Childcare

October 28, 2013 at 8:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Irish Times today reports that a government briefing document argues against changing the Direct Provision system because a better (ie humane and just) system would attract asylum-seekers from the UK and would cost too much.

Thus do we come to a moment of truth – what are we really prepared to do to protect vulnerable people and children? After all the Reports – Ryan – and all the pieties – the Taoiseach’s words regarding the Magdalen Laundry women – we are left with the same old reality. Poor and vulnerable children are not worth spending too much money on. If those children are not from among those who count – they are travellers, or born outside wedlock, or are poor, or are foreign – then we don’t really care.

This is the truth we must keep before us when listening again to ministers, including the Minister of Children, when they speak about the centrality of children’s rights. The test of their authenticity is the abolition of Direct Provision immediately so 5,000 people and 1,700 children can be treated as human beings.

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Feasta statement on Budget 2013

October 16, 2013 at 8:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, today described Budget 2013 as yet another wasted opportunity to address our urgent environmental and social challenges. A true budget is one which balances not financial income and expenditure but human and ecological needs.
The debate surrounding the budget was characterised by a false choice between ‘austerity’ or ‘growth’. In fact, neither option is viable. Instead, what is needed is a radical re-structuring of our economy to ensure that we live within ecological limits in a just manner.

The urgency of this has never been more apparent. Climate change is firmly underway, resource constraints are more apparent and the fantasy that we can have endless economic growth is more clearly illusory than ever before.

Today’s budget was constructed within an out-dated and dysfunctional mindset. The false choice between ‘austerity’ or growth is blinding us one more time to the true choice before us – that between genuine sustainability or not. The greatest challenge before our societies remains to see our world as it is rather than through the distorting lens of a dominant ideology which believes in infinite growth within a finite planet.

A new economic and social model is required. For its part, Feasta will continue to develop and present ideas and models which sketch out a resilient and sustainable world. We call on all political representatives to become planetary realists rather than economic growth fantasists.

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