Review of NGO Sector Funding Needed in the Interests of the Public
Responding to the recent controversy surrounding funding of the NGO sector, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called for a review of the over €6 billion in annual funding provided to NGOs in the best interests of the public.
An Teachta Tóibín: “Any sector that receives over €6 billion per annum – which is nearly 7 times the budget of the Department of Enterprise, and more than 8 times the childcare spending in Budget 2022 – must be subject to the highest standards of scrutiny and transparency. The Taxpayer deserves to know how their hard-earned money is being spent, and also how that money can best be spent. NGOs play a vital role in our civic society. Many do great work. It is imperative that in our public discourse that we recognise the good work done by so many in our communities and in our society.”
“However, there is a concern about the funding allocated. Are the government funding groups to in effect lobby the government? In the case of the NWCI, they receive nearly €900,000 per annum from the government, and in turn organise a political rally to the exclusion of the government and certain opposition parties. Surely, if funding is allocated to the NWCI by the government, it is so that organisation can represent all women, not just women who align with certain political beliefs. There are further concerns over allegations that NGOs who failed to file accounts for successive years have received taxpayer funding, or that funding is going to overly politicised NGOs which do not represent the views of many taxpayers who fund them. Funding to NGOs must remain apolitical and to the betterment of all society. A review of funding criteria, and a public discourse on NGO funding is needed – in the best interests of society.”