Analysis & Comment

Yesterday (29th October 2020) the CSO published the latest report on The Census Population from an Environment Perspective 2011 and 2016. As the name might suggest, this Report delved into the Census data for 2011 and 2016, to analyse the trends around housing energy use. The results are interesting and highlight a willingness of households to move to more sustaiable home heating. For low income households however, they also underpin the need to have more focused action on retrofitting older homes and increasing energy efficiency.

Although the potential for a hard-Brexit has been overshadowed by the challenges of Coivd-19 during recent months, the potential for sudden and significant changes in economic activity and living standards from January 1st 2021 remains a major threat.

Budget 2021 was the first chance for this Government to show how seriously it is taking its commitment to the creation of a new social contract. Click here to see some of the opportunies regrettably missed.

Despite a significant allocation of over €3 billion to Housing in Budget 2021, the same old policies provide little public housing.


Social Justice Ireland 
welcomes progress in Budget 2021on carbon tax, and the commitment to ringfence this revenue for sustainability measures.  However we are still a considerable distance from a Just Transtion and the compensation meausures in Budget 2021 are not as comprehensive as they could have been.  

Budget 2021 must be judged by the degree to which it protects people from poverty, equips people and businesses to confront Covid-19 and Brexit, and addresses the climate and environmental crisis. The challenge for Government is to use the fiscal space available to introduce the necessary measures to support incomes and underpin the public health measures to save lives, preserve our economic capacity and prepare for the impact of a no-deal Brexit.  Its response to this challenge in Budget 2021 has been mixed.


Budget 2021 has left Ireland’s poorest people behind as Government decided not to increase core social welfare rates. Despite allocating more resources than any previous Budget in the history of the State, the distribution of those resources was such that the gap between the poor and the better off will widen in 2021 and inequality will increase. This is a totally unacceptable outcome.


In advance of the first budget from the current Government, it is important to remember three things: (i) the primary focus should be on increasing employment and delivering infrastructure and services, NOT on deficit reduction; (ii) a huge amount of borrowing will be needed in the next three years, and probably more again after that, and (iii) this borrowing is affordable and is the correct thing to do for the future of the economy and society.

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day. The theme this year is Mental Health for All - Greater Investment, Greater Access. Everyone, Everywhere.  But how does Ireland fare when it comes to mental health services?

Recent publications

Join us on Wednesday, 18th November 2020 and hear from national and international speakers on the need for a new social contract and engage with a panel discussion by representatives of the five pillars of Social Partnership on the importance of sustaining social dialogue. The conference will take place over three sessions throughout the day. Attendance is free, but registration is essential.

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.

'Building a New Social Contract – Policy Recommendations’ contains more than eighty specific policy recommendations that would go a considerable direction towards a new social contract to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of everyone and ensure that a no-one is left behind as our economy and society recovers from the impact of Covid-19.

The July Jobs Stimulus contains some welcome elements which have the potential to support businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, to absorb the economic impact of Covid-19. However, it remains to be seen if the package is of the scale required to begin the process of real economic recovery for the many businesses impacted, to alleviate the financial hardship of households on reduced incomes and to secure medium-to-long-term societal wellbeing. Read our full analysis here.

Recent podcasts/videos

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.

Less than 24 hours after Minister Donohoe stood up in the Dáil to deliver his Budget speech, Social Justice Ireland published the first full and comprehensive analysis of Budget 2020.
Click here to read our analysis, or to view the video of our post-Budget 2020 seminar, delivered the morning after Budget Day.