Analysis & Comment

The poverty rates for single person households have risen notably in the last decade, while they have fallen or remain more-or-less static for others. Increased poverty for those living alone is keeping Ireland's poverty rates high and presents a policy challenge for government.

At our 32nd annual Social Policy Conference last month, Mick Clifford (Irish Examiner, Irish Journalist of the Year 2016) interviewed Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize Winner in 1993, and one of Ireland's greatest living authors.

Language is important. How we talk about ageing and older people frames the way we think about them. And how we think shapes the policies we are prepared to support - Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE

The Government's over-use of the so-called 'money message veto' is undemocratic and is a mis-use of the Constitution. Politicians must distinguish fairly between bills whose primary purpose is to spend money and those which merely include some measure of indirect expenditure at the initial implementation stage.

We have declared a climate emergency and we are a self-confessed laggard on climate change.  But despite all the talk, where is the action?  The 2019 Emissions Gap Report just published by the UN Environment Programme outlines just how serious the situation is.  But it also points to actions that can be implemented.  The time for talking about climate action is over, Government needs to start implementing policy to bring about real change. 

More than 689,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 200,000 are children. Despite moderate improvements in poverty rates and numbers, which are very welcome, there are an extra 36,000 people living in poverty in Ireland today compared to a decade ago.

Rebuilding Ireland srategy is not working. Given that this strategy fell far short of the scale of the response required in the first place, the failure to deliver the modest targets in all five pillars is a major indictment of Government policy. At our 32nd Annual Social Policy Conference, we reviewed the Government's housing strategy from the perspective of the young and old living in Ireland today and found it wanting.

People should be assured of the required treatment and care in their times of illness or vulnerability.  Yet in Ireland the healthcare system still struggles to provide an adequate service to everyone, and despite recent increases in resourcing we still have very high levels of unmet care needs.  

As a policy objective, Ireland can remain a low-tax economy, but not one incapable of adequately supporting necessary economic, social and infrastructural requirements. Our current low tax/low investment model is not sustainable and we regret that Budget 2020 did not take greater steps to address this.

Basic Income is back on the agenda. Social Justice Ireland were delighted to take part in Basic Income Ireland's Annual Forum - Basic Income, Social Justice and Sustainability - discussing how a Universal Basic Income could be integrated into plans for a Just Transition. We were also interested to note that the Scottish National Party have included Basic Income as part of its plans for an independent Scotland.

In the latest episodes of our podcast, Social Justice Matters, we revisit our Basic Income conference from 2016 to hear from Social Justice Ireland founders Brigid Reynolds and Dr. Seán Healy on why now is the time to grasp the nettle. You can also listen to a short tutorial on Basic Income: the what, the why and the how. Listen in from our website, on Spotify, iTunes, PodBean, or Podcast Republic.

Recent publications

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.

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. 

Recent podcasts/videos

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.

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.