The Community Platform is a network of 28 national networks and organisations working to address poverty, social exclusion, and inequality. Our objectives are to facilitate solidarity amongst the organisations involved, organise community sector participation in partnership arrangements with the State, and establish a critical voice for equality, rights and anti-poverty interests at a national level.
This paper sets out some key elements of the situation
in Ireland after six years of austerity policies and proposes policy directions for a future Ireland that would better reflect the values of the Community Platform. It builds on a body of policy work done in previous years by the Community Platform and is based on discussion and exchange with our member organisations.
It is published in what is a crucial year as we struggle to emerge from recession and crisis. It is essential that we not only undo the damage of policies that have deepened poverty and inequality but also set out and implement plans for an economy and society based on new values.
At United Nations level there are critical decisions to be made in relation to universal Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. At a European level, the mid-term review of Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth comes at a time of growing recognition that austerity policies have failed many people and that climate change threatens the very survival of the planet. At a national level there is significant debate on alternatives to austerity as a range of centenaries are marked, an election looms, political parties develop their manifestos, and new political and civil society formations are explored.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The Community Platform seeks an inclusive, sustainable and equal Ireland. Our vision for the future reflects a shared value base of equality including economic equality, social inclusion, social justice, dignity, participation, and sustainability. These values should underpin the policies, programmes and practices required to achieve this future inclusive, sustainable and equal Ireland.
Members of the Community Platform work to challenge poverty and inequality experienced on the grounds of gender and gender identity; family status, including carers and lone parents; age, including children, young people and older people; disability; sexual orientation; ethnic origin, including migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, Travellers and Roma; religion, including minority religions; and socio-economic status, including people who are unemployed or low paid, homeless people, and prisoners.