Analysis & Comment

Last week (27th July 2018), the Government launched its Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021, aimed at bringing existing vacant properties back into use.  According to the CSO, there are over 183,000 vacant properties, excluding holiday homes, across the State.  Many of these could be brought under the control of the local authority or Approved Housing Bodies and used to provide social homes.  However, while Social Justice Ireland supports the intention of the Strategy, we note that it does not propose to actually bring these homes back into use until next year or the year after.

Government should stop subsidising the Accommodation and Food Services sector and instead should incentivise the kind of jobs that allow workers to achieve a decent standard of living.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that inequality can be tackled effectively and the linked social injustices of poverty, waiting lists and homelessness can be addressed.  Priority should be given to reducing poverty, tackling the social housing crisis and reforming the healthcare system in both urban and rural Ireland.  Following on from our annual Sustainable Progress Index, Social Justice Ireland has published a 4-page brief on Ireland’s inability to get to grips with inequality.

Coalition 2030, an alliance of over 100 Irish civil society organisations and networks which includes Social Justice Ireland, has expressed concern that Ireland is falling behind on its commitment to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The coalition outlined its concerns in a report published as the Irish Government prepares to present its first progress report on the SDGs at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday today.

Social Justice Ireland enthusiastically welcomes the news that Ireland will become the first country in the world to divest its sovereign wealth fund of all investments in fossil fuels.

In their report for the Community Foundation of Ireland, The Future of Council Housing, An analysis of the financial sustainability of local authority provided social housing, Prof. Michelle Norris and Dr. Aideen Hayden examine the existing structures for the provision of social housing to low income households and recommends the introduction of a Cost Rental model of social housing provision.

Ireland’s improving economic situation is an opportunity to recover lost ground in relation to our ODA commitments. Social Justice Ireland strongly urges Government to provide an additional €136m in Budget 2019 and make a commitment to increase the aid budget over the next four years to 0.59 per cent of GNI*.

The Living Wage for 2018 has been set at €11.90 per hour; an inrease of 20c over the last year. With the cost of living in most other areas falling, this increase is being driven solely by rising accommodation costs, with rent now accounting for half of minimum living costs in Dublin.

Recent publications

Social Justice Ireland's quarterly Employment Monitor, published July 2017, may be accessed here. This issue deals with the differences across the different economic sectors in the areas of Employee Numbers, Average Hourly Earnings, and Paid Hours.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that Budget 2019 addresses the key challenges and social injustices facing Irish people. Priority should be given to tackling the social housing crisis, reforming the healthcare system and addressing rural and regional challenges with a special focus on resourcing communities.

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.

Following up on Social Justice Ireland’s Sustainable Progress Index, we publish our report monitoring Ireland’s progress towards each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and call on Government to ensure that achieving the SDGs is a key consideration for future policy-making, to identify to which SDG each new policy relates and document how that policy will support Ireland to achieve its goals.

Social Justice Ireland’s annual Socio-Economic Review is entitled Social Justice Matters. This book is about charting a course to a better Ireland. At the foundation of that is how we raise taxes and how much tax we raise.

Recent podcasts/videos

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.

Social Justice Ireland marks UN World Day of Social Justice each year with a seminar looking at Ireland's progress to date in meeting our responsibilities under the Global Goals. You can view video footage of the seminar here.

Social Justice Ireland were honoured to have President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins deliver the key note address at our 30th Annual Social Policy Conference. Click here to watch the video of his presentation, or download his paper, entitled On The Discourse That We Need.

This year's conference featured an excellent and diverse line-up of speakers from Spain, Italy, Germany, the USA, and Ireland. The key note address was delivered by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. Click in to download papers from the conference, watch the presentations, see our handy summary graphics, or download the entire conference booklet for free.

Watch Social Justice Ireland's Budget Response Seminar from the morning after Budget 2018 was announced, and download our Analysis and Critique of Budget 2018, which provides a comprehensive anaylsis including in areas such as taxation, social protection, health, education, employment, distributional impact, housing and ODA.