There’s so much Ireland could do with €13b and we’d like to think that LGBT issues could be addressed too
Somehow, Apple has found itself on the receiving end of a colossal tax bill that the EU has ruled it must pay to Ireland. Whether or not Ireland should take what the €13b is being hotly contested by politician and pundit alike.
Just today the government have officially decided to appeal the EU’s decision to collect the tax from Apple. But, if the ruling is upheld, Ireland will be forced to take €13b. So what could the LGBT community in Ireland do with this incredibly large sum of money?
Here’s what we’ve come up with:
TENI is Ireland’s trans equality network which aims to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families.
TENI aims to educate about trans issues by increasing awareness, provides information and support for trans people and their families, and advocate for trans rights and equality.
With additional funding, TENI could provide greater support, reach more people, and help the trans community in Ireland to lead better lives.
2. Self-Harm & Suicide Prevention
Since LGBT people are at a high risk of self-harm and suicide, adding additional funding to the support systems available to the LGBT community would benefit anyone suffering from depression and suicidal ideation.
Gay Switchboard and Pieta House are two services that could use additional funding to provide support to those who need it.
3. Homophobic Bullying
With a GLEN study indicating that 58% of LGBT have experienced homophobic bullying in schools, the Irish government could use some of that €13b to fund initiatives to reduce homophobic bullying.
This could come in the form of providing funding to existing groups like BeLonG To which supports Ireland’s LGBT youth and Shout Out whose goal is to reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Alternatively, the Irish government could introduce a new education service which works within the existing establishment to reduce this type of bigoted persecution in schools.
Click below to see what else could benefit from that €13b Apple tax Ireland might be receiving.
4. LGBT Movies
While GAZE this year saw several Irish LGBT films and shorts populating the program, Irish LGBT people still have to search to find their stories adequately represented in multiplex cinemas across the nation.
By providing additional funding to produce Irish LGBT films and television programmes, our government would be helping the LGBT community to see their role models on the silver screen or on TV.
Imagine an Irish gay superhero rescuing the island from some horrific threat. Or an Irish lesbian spy seducing her way through the Rose of Tralee competition to uncover a dark secret. Or an Irish trans scientist being sent to a remote part of the country to analyse a seemingly erroneous meteorological reading.
The stories that represent them impress upon young LGBT people what their future holds and what they should hope to achieve.
PrEP can be expensive to provide, in part due to the high prices defined by the supplier of the Truvada, Gilead. With €13b at it’s disposal, the Irish government could afford to fund the drug which has proven to significantly reduce the transmission rates of HIV in Ireland.
The HSE has yet to provide access to PrEP, while the NHS in the UK has disputed it’s responsibility to provide the drug, which has an very high efficacy at reducing HIV transmission, to its citizens.
PrEP can be quite expensive costing £400 per month in the UK because currently the drug is produced by only one pharmaceutical company (Gilead) and the generic versions of the drug will not be available until 2017 at the earliest.
What other LGBT issues would you like to see addressed with increased funding?
(Images: TENI Twitter; By Airman 1st Class Devin N. Boyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Flickr)
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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