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Budget 2021 must lead to a just and fair recovery and address the social inequality that existed before Covid-19

Published 02/10/2020


(01 October) Age Action joined the network of 30 national community and voluntary organisations to call on the Government to put the values of Community, Participation and Decency at the heart of Budget 2021 and use it to redress ongoing inequalities in our society that Covid-19 had highlighted and reinforced.

The Community Platform, a network of 30 national organisations working to address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, has published Four Tests which it will use to assess Budget 2021. The Four Tests are:

Test 1: Will Budget 2021 redistribute income towards the poorest 20%?
Test 2: Will Budget 2021 strengthen access to quality employment?
Test 3: Will Budget 2021 restore and strengthen public services that are of particular importance to people on low income?
Test 4: Will the impact of Budget 2021 be assessed to ensure that all provisions reduce poverty and inequality?

The Platform has drawn on its members proposals for Budget 2021 to outline detailed measures the Government should implement if it is to achieve these Four Tests.

Paul Ginnell, spokesperson for the Community Platform, said that “Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on those in poverty and most disadvantaged and has reinforced existing inequalities. These inequalities include inadequate social welfare supports, high levels of low paid workers, low investment in public services which among other things has led to a homelessness crisis, a dysfunctional health system with high levels of health inequality, and many groups in our society being left behind”.

Mr Ginnell concluded “Budget 2021 must protect those already severely disadvantaged and take visible steps to address existing inequalities so that we can begin to arrive out of this crisis as a more just and fair society underpinned by values of Community, Participation and Decency”. 

Further Information

Download the full Four Tests for Budget 2021 at


The Community Platform is an alliance of 30 national networks and organisations in the community and voluntary sector working to address poverty, social exclusion and inequality.

  • Age Action Ireland
  • All Together in Dignity (ATD) Ireland
  • Community Action Network
  • Community Work Ireland
  • Cairde
  • Debt and Development Coalition
  • European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland
  • Family Resource Centre National Forum
  • Focus Ireland
  • Immigrant Council of Ireland
  • Independent Living Movement Ireland
  • Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed
  • Irish Penal Reform Trust
  • Irish Refugee Council
  • Irish Rural Link
  • Irish Traveller Movement
  • Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
  • National Adult Literacy Agency
  • National Collective of Community-based Women's Networks
  • National Traveller Women’s Forum
  • National Women’s Council of Ireland
  • Pavee Point
  • Rape Crisis Network Ireland
  • Safe Ireland
  • Sign Language Interpreting Service
  • Simon Communities of Ireland
  • Threshold
  • Treoir
  • Vincentian Partnership for Justice
  • Women’s Aid



Age Action Awarded Investing In Volunteers National Quality Standard

Age Action is delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers quality standard. Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the national quality standard for good practice in volunteer management in Ireland.

The Investing in Volunteers standard assesses the organisation’s volunteering programme in six areas: vision for volunteering, planning for volunteers, volunteer inclusion, recruiting and welcoming volunteers, supporting volunteers, and valuing and developing volunteers. As part of the process, we completed a self-assessment of our volunteering programme, and with the assistance of an Investing in Volunteers mentor, we then put together an improvement plan. Over the course of the assessment forty of our volunteers were interviewed as well as staff and board members.

Every year, hundreds of people volunteer with Age Action in our Getting Started digital literacy programme, and with our Care and Repair DIY Service. We would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who bring their time, energy and skills to Age Action and are the reason that our volunteering programme is so impactful. Volunteers are at the heart of our programmes and services at Age Action and without our volunteers we couldn’t fulfil our mission to support older people to live full and independent lives. Achieving the Investing in Volunteers quality standard shows our commitment to providing an experience that reflects how much we value our volunteers.

Here’s what some of our Volunteers said as part of the process:

‘I’ve gained a lot of skills from volunteering.  It has built my confidence in teamworking and communication.’

‘It keeps me active being able to help people and improve their quality of life’. 

‘I think they’ve got it just right with the amount of information to keep you in touch.  The monthly newsletter let’s you see what’s going on”.

“Emails keep you informed.  They are very willing to take suggestions on board, they encourage you to give them feedback’.

Going through the Investing in Volunteers process has helped us to review and improve our volunteering programme in its entirety, from how we recruit, train and support volunteers, to how we communicate with and involve our volunteers at all levels of the organisation. As we celebrate achieving the standard, we reiterate our commitment to providing the best possible volunteering experience for our volunteers who make an incredible difference in the lives of those older people we serve.