Analysis & Comment

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.

What are the ten trends shaping the future of work?  How are these trends transforming what people do for a living; how they do it; what skills they need; where they perform their work; how work relations are structured; and how work is organised, distributed and rewarded?

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has launched a public consultation to review Ireland’s sustainable mobility (active travel and public transport) policy “to ensure services are sustainable into the future and are meeting the needs of a modern economy”. The public consultation, which closes on the 24th January 2020, is open to all stakeholders including the public.  

On Tuesday, 12th November 2019, President Michael D. Higgins hosted a seminar entitled "Rethinking Economics:  The Role of the State in Fostering a Sustaiable and Inclusive Economy".

In his opening remarks, he cautioned "the prevailing neoliberal model which features markets without regulation, distorted trade and unrestricted globalisation, the priority of the price mechanism and the practice of commodification, speculative investment, and which results in unbridled consumption, yawning inequality and destructive extraction of natural resources is unsustainable from economic, environmental and social standpoints."

We have been analysing and critiquing the Government’s annual budget since 1988, outlining proposals in advance and providing detailed analysis when the Budget is announced. Here, we draw attention to some of the policy areas where progress has been made.

Budget 2020 does not contain the ‘bold and new decisions’ required to meet the ‘defining challenge’ of climate change, and there was no progress on examining subsidies that the CSO has highlighted as potentially environmentally damaging.

Social Justice Ireland has repeatedly called for increased scrutiny of tax expenditures as part of the budgetary process. We regret that in Budget 2020, at a time when the Minister for Finance has made a point of repeatedly noting the scarcity of available resources, government has ignored a real opportunity to increase the total tax-take whilst making the tax system fairer.

In allocating just €2m of additional funding to the RTB for investigating and sanctioning non-compliance with the Rent Pressure Zone measures, and no additional funding for rent inspections and sanctions under other landlord and tenant legislation, the Government has shown that they are not serious about protecting tenants. 

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the Budget 2020 decision to increase the carbon tax from €20 per tonne to €26 per tonne. This is the first significant increase in the tax since it was introduced almost one decade ago, and we also welcome the commitment to ringfence the revenue to deal with the transition to a more carbon neutral economy.

As the DEASP announces some key design features of its proposed Automatic Enrolment pension scheme, our analysis suggests that AE represents poor value for money, with minimal benefit to the State unless the long-term plan is to run down the value of the State pension and force people to rely on their private savings.

Recent publications

Author Roddy Doyle is among the speakers at our 2019 Social Policy Conference: The Challenges of Success - Addressing Population Growth in Ireland. Click here for more info.

Less than 24 horus 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

Less than 24 horus 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.

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.