Analysis & Comment

Appropriate and sufficient investment is vital to a balanced and fair post-Covid recovery where no-one is left behind.  Unfortunately Budget 2022 has failed to deliver the necessary investment in social infrastructure for such a recovery. 

The fundamental test for every Government is whether, when it leaves office, those with the least in our society are in a better position than when it entered office. The choices that Government has made in Budget 2022 will see the number of people in poverty grow.

Budget 2022 should embrace the need for new approaches to how we as a society prioritise choices. People, well-being, public services and a widespread and fair recovery must be Government priorities.  Yet, as we edge ever closer to Budget day, news reports suggest discussions within Government are focused on proposals that are far from fair. 

A recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) highlights the impacts of Covid-19 on unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, and warns that the "withdrawal of income supports could lead to a labour market with greater demographic inequality, rising poverty, and fewer jobs".  

Budget 2022 is due to be announced on Tuesday, 12th October 2021. If you're curious as to what the Budget is really all about, check out our video and FAQs as a quick guide to what it is and how it might affect you.

Building a regional recovery must be a priority in Budget 2022.  The social and economic impact of the pandemic on the regions will be lasting.  Therefore, appropriate and sufficient investment is vital to a balanced and fair post-Covid recovery where no-one is left behind

As at Census 2016, there were a reported 635,567 over 65s in Ireland. This is projected to have increased to over 740,000 by 2021, or almost 15 per cent of the population. Planning sufficient housing, healthcare and income supports now will ensure that our growing, ageing population will be provided for in to the future.


The latest report from the Living Wage Technical Group is that the hourly Living Wage has increased by 60c per hour, from €12.30 to €12.90. The increase in housing costs has been the main contributor to the increase in the Living Wage. Had housing costs stayed at 2020 levels, the increase in the Living Wage would have been just 15c to €12.45. The gap between the Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is now €2.70. Budget 2022 must begin the process of moving the NMW to the Living Wage to provide employees on low pay with a decent standard of living.

The latest World Meteorological Organization report United in Science 2021 finds that COVID-19 has not reduced emissions or changed behaviour, and that we are not ‘growing back greener’.  Carbon dioxide emissions are nowhere close to reduction targets and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record levels.  In fact it looks like a green recovery is almost out of reach unless we act now.  

The Government's Housing for All Strategy committed to considering an extension to the Help to Buy Scheme for first time buyers, due to expire in 31 December 2021, and to reviewing it to ensure that it is "apppropriately calibrated". Social Justice Ireland has advocated against Help to Buy since it was introduced and our analysis shows we were correct to do so.

Recent publications

Our Budget 2022 response analyses the budget from a number of perspectives.  Will Budget 2022 deliver a fair recovery from the social and economic impact of COVID-19?  How were the available resources distributed? What effect will the budget have on inequality? How will Ireland’s most vulnerable fair from this Budget? What measures deal with the housing crisis? Did Government deliver what is required for a Just Transition? Could better choices have been made? What measures have been ignored and in what general direction does this budget take the country?

Our policy briefing 'A Regional Recovery and Budget 2022' outlines our proposals for regional investment and recovery.

Our pre-budget submission, 'Budget Choices 2022' contains detailed, fully-costed Budgetary packages across more than a dozen policy areas including health, housing, education, welfare, sustainability and more; it also contains a range of costed, revenue-raising proposals.

Social Welfare Rates: Budget 2022 outlines the case for Benchmarking and Indexation of Social Welfare Rates in Budget 2022.

The Government published its long-awaited Housing for All Strategy on Thursday, 2nd September 2021. While there is much to welcome within the Strategy, a lack of ambition on social housing, homelessness prevention and overall construction risks, and a continued reliance on the private rented sector, risks more of the same in housing policy. Read our Review of the Housing for All Strategy now. 

Recent podcasts/videos

On Wednesday, 18th November 2020, Social Justice Ireland held our Annual Social Policy Conference by webinar. This year's theme was 'A New Social Contract, A New Social Dialogue: Building a Better Future'. In case you missed it (or you'd like to revisit the presentations), the videos, papers and graphic reports are all available now.

Less than 24 hours after Ministers Donohoe and McGrath stood up in the Convention Centre to deliver the Budget speech, Social Justice Ireland published the first full and comprehensive analysis of Budget 2021. Click here to read our analysis, or to view the video of our post-Budget 2021 seminar, delivered the morning after Budget Day.

Click  here to check out our Budget Choices 2021 Policy Briefing, and watch the video of the launch seminar.

Watch the videos from our 2020 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst at Social Justice Ireland, launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2020.

Our 2019 Social Policy Conference was titled "The Challenges of Success" and looked at the appropriate policy responses to Ireland's changing demographics.
Click here to download slides and papers from the conference, watch videos of the presentations, see our handy summary graphics, or download the entire conference booklet for free.