Analysis & Comment

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that Budget 2019 addresses the key challenges facing Irish people. Adopting the measures Social Justice Ireland are proposing, each of which has been fully costed and is accompanied by a proposed funding method, would move Ireland in the direction of becoming a fairer, more equal society.

Just two of the income taxation proposals currently under consideration for Budget 2019 would produce fair outcomes: an increase in the personal tax credit for everyone or a reduction in the 0.5% and 2% USC rates. The impact of most income tax proposals currently being considered by government would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes than to lower income employees.

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The Joint Committee on Climate Action is meeting this morning to further discuss the Report of the Citizen’s Assembly with representatives from the Climate Change Advisory Council and the Environmental Pillar.

Public Participation Networks (PPNs), made up of groups and organisations from the Environmental, Social Inclusion, and Community & Voluntary sectors, are influencing policy at a local and national level. And who knows what’s best for their communities better than local people themselves?

The Government has failed to respond adequately to our nation’s housing crisis. There are almost 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists - over half of whom are families - and 10,000 homeless, of whom 3,600 are children. This is a national emergency. The impact of homelessness and precarious housing on our nation’s children will be felt for generations to come.

Last week (27th July 2018), the Government launched its Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021, aimed at bringing existing vacant properties back into use.  According to the CSO, there are over 183,000 vacant properties, excluding holiday homes, across the State.  Many of these could be brought under the control of the local authority or Approved Housing Bodies and used to provide social homes.  However, while Social Justice Ireland supports the intention of the Strategy, we note that it does not propose to actually bring these homes back into use until next year or the year after.

Government should stop subsidising the Accommodation and Food Services sector and instead should incentivise the kind of jobs that allow workers to achieve a decent standard of living.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that inequality can be tackled effectively and the linked social injustices of poverty, waiting lists and homelessness can be addressed.  Priority should be given to reducing poverty, tackling the social housing crisis and reforming the healthcare system in both urban and rural Ireland.  Following on from our annual Sustainable Progress Index, Social Justice Ireland has published a 4-page brief on Ireland’s inability to get to grips with inequality.

Coalition 2030, an alliance of over 100 Irish civil society organisations and networks which includes Social Justice Ireland, has expressed concern that Ireland is falling behind on its commitment to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The coalition outlined its concerns in a report published as the Irish Government prepares to present its first progress report on the SDGs at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday today.

Recent publications

Social Justice Ireland published Fairness and Changing Income Taxes: September 2018 on 18th September. The study assesses the fairness of seven possible income taxation options, each with a full-year cost of between €254m to €348m; equivalent to between 1.2% and 1.6% of the annual income taxation yield.

Social Justice Ireland will present our analysis and response to Budget 2019 in Buswells Hotel on Wednesday 10th October at 11am. To register, click here.

With 10,000 people - including 3,600 children - homeless, 72,000 mortgages in arrears, and 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists, it can hardly be denied that Government policy is a dramatic failure.

Social Justice Ireland's quarterly Employment Monitor, published July 2017, may be accessed here. This issue deals with the differences across the different economic sectors in the areas of Employee Numbers, Average Hourly Earnings, and Paid Hours.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that Budget 2019 addresses the key challenges and social injustices facing Irish people. Priority should be given to tackling the social housing crisis, reforming the healthcare system and addressing rural and regional challenges with a special focus on resourcing communities.

Recent podcasts/videos

Watch Social Justice Ireland's Budget Choices Seminar, which was streamed live from Buswells Hotel on Tuesday June 5th.

Dr. Seán Healy, Colette Bennett and Eamon Murphy talk through our budgetary proposals for 2019, including our analysis of the various crises and infrastructural deficits faced by Ireland, and our revenue-raising measures that can help tackle them.

Social Justice Ireland marks UN World Day of Social Justice each year with a seminar looking at Ireland's progress to date in meeting our responsibilities under the Global Goals. You can view video footage of the seminar here.

Social Justice Ireland were honoured to have President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins deliver the key note address at our 30th Annual Social Policy Conference. Click here to watch the video of his presentation, or download his paper, entitled On The Discourse That We Need.

This year's conference featured an excellent and diverse line-up of speakers from Spain, Italy, Germany, the USA, and Ireland. The key note address was delivered by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. Click in to download papers from the conference, watch the presentations, see our handy summary graphics, or download the entire conference booklet for free.

Watch Social Justice Ireland's Budget Response Seminar from the morning after Budget 2018 was announced, and download our Analysis and Critique of Budget 2018, which provides a comprehensive anaylsis including in areas such as taxation, social protection, health, education, employment, distributional impact, housing and ODA.