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Social Justice Ireland has more than 25 years experience in producing comprehensive, budget proposals and budget analysis.  All of this material and other budget resources are available in this section.

One hundred years after the 1916 Rising Ireland faces major choices that will shape its future for the decades ahead.  The dominant economic approaches and policies which have been favoured in recent decades in Ireland, the EU and beyond have failed to recognise the interdependent relationships between a vibrant economy, social cohesion, good governance and sustainability that must characterise any society if it is to thrive in the long run. Yet recognition of this interdependency is critically important if we are to fulfil our obligations to future generations of Irish people and to the planet on which we depend for our existence.  

Government should spend €1bn fiscal space on infrastructure to improve productivity and competitiveness in Budget 2017.  This would be a far better use of resources than giving tax cuts as incentives to attract ‘Brexit refugees’ from the City of London to Dublin.  Investment is crucial to addressing Ireland’s infrastructure deficits and to delivering a vibrant, productive, competitive and sustainable economy and a just society.  Investment is the cornerstone of our policy briefing Budget Choices 2017.

Government could substantially increase the resources available to finance social housing by invoking the structural reform clause contained in the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.This clause allows Government’s to cater for the short-term costs of implementing structural reforms that will have long-term positive budgetary effects.

An adequate investment programme focused on social housing and broadband delivery must be one of the key initiatives in Budget 2017.  Budget 2017 should introduce substantially increased investment to begin delivering sufficient social housing units to eliminate the waiting list and to frontload the rollout of the fibre infrastructure for broadband to every household and business in the State.

Each year, on the day after the annual Budget is announced, Social Justice Ireland produces an analysis and critique of that Budget. Included in that document is an assessment of the direct distributive impact of the measures announced by Government. These principally capture changes to income taxes, welfare payments and other universal payments/entitlements.  This document reproduces the most recent analysis, following Budget 2016, and also provides more details on the approach taken by Social Justice Ireland to generate these results.

Budget 2016 was the fifth regressive Budget in a row. While it was not as regressive as in previous years and contained some gain for everyone, there was much more for the better off and far less for poor and vulnerable people. 

While single unemployed people will gain €95 a year, single people earning €75,000 will gain almost ten times as much i.e. €902.  In the case of couples, the unemployed will gain €157 a year while a couple with two earners on €125,000 a year will gain nine times as much i.e. an extra €1,408 a year.

The expenditure and taxation changes in successive budgets have had a significant impact on households in Ireland, particularly those with children and on low incomes.  In advance of Budget 2016 being announced on 13th October Social Justice Ireland presents an examination of the impact of successive Budgets from 2009 to 2015 on families and low income households in Ireland.

Some tax proposals currently being considered by Government should be rejected because they would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes while giving nothing to lower income employees according to a study conducted by Social Justice Ireland.   The study shows that four of seven options to reduce income tax currently being considered would be profoundly unfair because they would favour only those with higher incomes.

Social Justice Ireland has called on Finance Minister, Michael Noonan TD, to RAISE taxes and not reduce them in the Budget for 2016.  This is not the time for Tax-Cuts. All available resources should be used to invest in addressing Ireland’s major deficits, in areas such as caring, housing and poverty that affect the young, the old and most in between.

The Government’s Spring Statement is unfair, contradictory and disappointing.  It lacks a clear guiding vision of where Ireland should be by 2020.  It also lacks clear policy commitments that would move Ireland towards being a just society.

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