Analysis & Comment

The UN Climate Action Summit 2019 begins in New York today.  The purpose of the summit is for countries who signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 to bring concrete, realistic and effective plans to meet 2020 targets and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent in the next ten years.  What plan does Ireland have to fully transform the economy in line with the sustainable development goals?

It's time for Governments to put an end to policies that subsidise and encourage the extraction and use of fossil fuels. Without such a move, Ireland will continue to be a laggard in terms of our climate action goals and obligations.

International Basic Income Week 2019 runs from the 16th of September to the 22nd. Social Justice Ireland has long been one of Ireland's leading proponents of Basic Income. This article contains links to a number of papers and videos on the subject of Basic Income, many of which were presented at our 2016 Social Policy Conference which was centred around the topic.

The Government recently published the 2019 Spending Review of Carer’s Supports.  The findings of this review point to a need to increase investment in community care, and home help and to provide a statutory entitlement to Home Care Packages if we are to meet potential future demand.

Pension-related tax reliefs are an expensive means of subsidising retirement savings for the better off, with little financial benefit to the State. The current system has a very high fiscal cost, yet is currently failing to meet its targets in relation to coverage and income adequacy. In this article, we show that the arguments in favour of continuing this perverse incentive system do not stack up. There is no fiscal benefit to the exchequer in either the short or the long term.

The Department of Rural and Community Development last week launched a public consultation (primarily aimed at people living and working in rural Ireland) on the development of Rural Policy.  This coincides with the end of the Action Plan for Rural Development, which launched in January 2017 and ends at the end of this year.  The online survey is open until the 11th October.  Addressing the many issues with rural development is a key policy area for Social Justice Ireland.  Check out some of our recent work in this area to support you to have your say.

International Literacy Day gives us the opportunity to remember the importance of literacy, to celebrate the progress we have made, and a chance to reinvigorate efforts to address the literacy challenges that we still face.

Behind the headline jobs numbers, trends in Ireland's labour force participation tell some interesting stories.

As we watch the political chaos unfold across the Irish Sea, we must acknowledge the need to learn the lessons of Brexit. Many of those who voted for Brexit voted against their own economic interest. This points to a disillusionment with politics and with social and economic policies. Among the lessons to be learned from Brexit are the need for the EU to represent something positive in the eyes of ordinary people. Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights would go a long way to making sure that this does not happen again in other countries.

Ireland has signed up to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and is committed to legally binding climate commitments in 2020 and 2030.  We have a national commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 yet we spend up to €4 billion every year on potentially environmentally damaging subsidies.

Recent publications

Social Justice Ireland will publish the first full and comprehensive analysis of Budget 2020 on the morning of Wednesday 9th October, beginning at 11am at Buswells Hotel. Printed copies of our 24-page Budget Response document will be available to attendees.

In the Sustainability edition of our National Social Monitor,  we assess whether current policy on sustainability encompasses the three pillars of environment, society and economy and make proposals on how to transition towards a sustainable future. 

Click here to read Budget Choices 2020, Social Justice Ireland's submission to government ahead of Budget 2020. You can also watch the video of the launch of Budget Choices 2020, where we go through the key details of our submission.

In this edition of our National Social Monitor, Social Justice Ireland looks at the budgets of each of the 31 Local Authorities and analyses where the money was spent, and where it wasn’t, to assess the priorities of local government. 

What does your Local Authority value?  What progress is being made at local level to tackle the causes of issues like housing, job sustainability and climate change?  Following the publication of Social Justice Ireland's latest National Social Monitor - Local Issues edition, check out our Local Authority profiles, a one-page overview of each Local Authority area and how it spends its budget on your behalf. 

Recent podcasts/videos

Click here to read Budget Choices 2020, Social Justice Ireland's submission to government ahead of Budget 2020. You can also watch the video of the launch of Budget Choices 2020, where we go through the key details of our submission.

Watch the videos from our 2019 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Catherine Kavanagh of University College Cork launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2019, and Coalition 2030 Coordinator Jennifer Thompson responded.

Every year, Social Justice Ireland is the first organisation to produce a comprehensive analysis of the national budget. Our document is published less than 24 hours after the Minister for Finance stands up in Leinster House to give his speech. Click here to read our 24-page analysis, or to watch a video of our Budget Response launch seminar at Buswells Hotel from the morning after the Budget.

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.