Ireland set to remain European Laggard without increased Social Investment in a Just Transition
Posted on Tuesday, 12 April 2022
Ireland and the wider world is moving steadily towards the deadline of 2030 by which time we are supposed to have delivered on the Climate Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals. Delivering on these ambitions will require far reaching changes. Ensuring that the impact of changes is shared fairly by us all, will require huge adjustments in all our lives. It is essential that a just transition process is put in place to enable people reach this new way of living. Investing in effective and integrated social protection systems, education, training and lifelong learning, childcare, out of school care, health care, long term care and other quality services must be a top priority of transition because it is this social investment that will support people, communities, sectors and regions as we make the difficult transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
The coming decade will be one of transformation as we try to meet our climate goals. There are some specific policies that Social Justice Ireland has consistently advocated for, that would support us in meeting these targets in the years ahead. These priorities are:
Housing and Homelessness: Introduce new building methods and materials that lower the carbon footprint of construction and design and deliver apprenticeship and skills programmes at levels needed to supply these homes.
Healthcare: Increase the availability and quality of Primary Care and Social Care services and create a statutory entitlement to home care.
Education and Skills: Create a plan to inform investment, for reducing class sizes, reducing pupil teacher ratios and ensuring that our education system has all of the resources that it requires to meet our national ambitions.
Rural Development: Support for sustainable agricultural practice is important to ensure the long-term viability of the sector and consideration must also be given to how the projected increase in agricultural emissions can be offset.
Work: Resource and deliver a Just Transition programme which should contain as a minimum re-training and support for those communities who will be most impacted by the loss of employment.
Governance and Participation: Adequately resource the Public Participation Network (PPN) structures.
Income Distribution: For those in receipt of social welfare, index social welfare rates to 27.5 per cent of average earnings, an increase of €30 over the next two Budgets.
Taxation: A review of tax expenditures is long overdue and needs to eliminate any that are damaging to the environment.
Environment and Sustainability: Ensure that every locality has ease of access to recycling centres that cover a wide variety of substances.
Global Challenges: Renew our commitment to meet the UN target of contributing 0.7 per cent of national income to ODA by 2027.
READ MORE IN OUR NATIONAL SOCIAL MONITOR - JUST TRANSITION