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Articles for 2021's budget

The experience of the last decade has highlighted the centrality of taxation in budget deliberations and to policy development. Taxation plays a key role in shaping Irish society through funding public services, supporting economic activity, and redistributing resources to enhance the fairness of society. Consequently, it is crucial that clarity exist with regard to both the objectives and instruments aimed at achieving these goals.

Budget 2022 offers an opportunity for Government to reform some aspects of the current taxation system in the interests of enhancing fairness and sustainability. Budget 2022 is an opportunity to make some overdue changes which will also provide some additional revenue.

Social Justice Ireland is proposing a €10 increase in core social welfare payments in Budget 2022. This would set Government on the correct path to benchmark social welfare rates to 27.5 per cent average weekly earnings over a two-year period, which was the standard set in 2007.  Budget 2021 was the second budget in a row which failed to deliver an increase to the minimum social welfare payment.  A repetition of this failure in Budget 2022 would leave those who are most vulnerable in a very difficult position and see them fall further behind.

Social Justice Ireland’s income model tracks the distributive impact of annual budgets on households across Irish society. As different priorities can be articulated for each Budget, it is useful to bring together the cumulative effect of policy changes across a number of years.

Despite the immediate uncertainty, Budget 2022 must embrace the need for new approaches to how we as a society prioritise choices. People, well-being, public services and a widespread and fair recovery must come first.