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Policy Issues Home

A wide range of material on many policy issues is available on this page.  This includes both material and commentary from Social Justice Ireland and material from other sources.  The policy issues are listed alphabetically in the menu on this page.

Two studies published recently by the Central Statistics Office show that a greater percentage of graduates from Higher and Further education were in substantial employment one year after graduation than in 2010, and that the higher the educational attainment, the higher the income.  Education has the capacity to be transformative, particularly for those in lower socioeconomic groups.  Government must prioritise equality of both access and opportunity to education for all.

Our Budget 2020 submission contains a half a billion euro investment package that would allow rural and regional Ireland needs to thrive, including in areas of tourism, rural transport, enterprise, and rural broadband.

To support carers and people with disabilities to live fulfilling lives within their communities, Government must, in the forthcoming Budget, Introduce a cost of disability payment, increase investment in disability services, including respite and personal assistant services, increase the Domiciliary Care Allowance and expand the Free Travel scheme to include people in receipt of DCA, and increase the annual Carer's Support Grant.

Healthcare services are fundamental to wellbeing - important in themselves and important to economic success in a range of ways, including improving work participation and productivity. Securing healthcare services and infrastructure is a key policy area that must be addressed urgently as part of Budget 2020.

Social Justice Ireland welcomed the decision to tax windfall gains from re-zoned land in 2010 and strongly condemned its removal five years later as one of the most retrograde policy initiatives in recent years. Government should bring back the tax on windfall gains from re-zoned land in Budget 2020.

Adequate social welfare payments are required to prevent and address poverty. Without the social welfare system 43.8 per cent of the Irish population would have been living in poverty in 2017. In order to keep pace with earnings growth, social welfare rates should increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020.

Budget 2020 is the ideal time to reform how Ireland does corporate taxation. At present, too many firms get away with paying low effective rates or availing of overly generous subsidies or tax holidays. Our Budget 2020 submission, published in June, contains numerous proposals to improve matters.

The Government has just launched a new initiative to track Ireland’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the SDG Hub.  The SDG Hub is a Geosite – a website developed in collaboration with Ordinance Survey Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and Esri Ireland – and contains a lot of useful data and information on the SDGs and how Ireland is measuring them.  This work complements the Sustainable Progress Index produced each year by Social Justice Ireland, and the call for open source data to fill the gaps which remain in creating a full picture of the SDGs echoes our call to the Minister last year.

The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present.  But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions?  This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.

Social Justice Ireland is seriously concerned that Government is not planning sufficiently for the changes that Ireland’s ageing population will bring. Over the coming decades there will be a steady increase in older people and people with disabilities accessing services. In Budget 2020, government must take steps to prepare for changes that will arise as Ireland's population profile changes.

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