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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.

A new Youth Homelessness Strategy is needed and must be focused on the housing exclusion of young people. Low pay, poverty, irregular work all play a part but access to affordable secure housing is integral to ensuring that a cohort of young people without adequate resources do not begin their adult lives as homeless. 

The latest NESC report, Digital Inclusion in Ireland: Connectivity, Devices & Skills, focuses on Digital Inclusion - what it is and why it's important. This Report provides key information for policymakers as we consider the world of work, education and social inclusion in an increasingly digital age.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has published a report on the impact of the instruments and measures of the current Common Agricultural policy (CAP) 2014-2020 on the territorial development of rural areas, with a focus on socio-economic aspects including social inclusion.

How we plan our finances, and what we choose to prioritise, post-Covid-19, will have profound implications for the future of our economy and society. To this end Social Justice Ireland proposed to the Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight that the priorities for Budget 2022 should be adequate social welfare rates and poverty reduction, just taxation, housing for all and tackling unemployment. 

The Economic Recovery Plan announced today, while welcome, is not of the scale required to address the social, economic and environmental challenges that we now face. Covid-19 has brought extraordinary social and economic costs.  Alongside this, the challenges that existed pre-Covid remain and cannot be ignored

The issue of child poverty is again prominent in the European Commission agenda, with the publication of the Council Recommendation for Establishing a European Child Guarantee. In order to be successful, increased political focus is required and children must be at the heart of post-Covid recovery plans.  Increased European and national funding is also a prerequisite for success. 

The prospect of a return to high unemployment rates post pandemic is a daunting one and reiterates the need to ensure that the labour force is equipped and educated to meet the challenges ahead. 

Ireland has a lot of work to do to meet our 2030 targets. The Energy Charter Treaty (the Treaty) could hamper our progress even further. In 2018, Ireland was the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels, however the Treaty will lock-in billions of euros worth of investments in oil, coal and gas. In Europe alone, the fossil infrastructure protected by the Treaty amounts to €344.6 billion – more than twice the EU annual budget. Social Justice Ireland, along with other international NGOs and civil society organisations has signed a statement asking the EU to pull out of the Treaty on environmental protection grounds.

Unemployment could exceed 390,000 according to the latest Social Justice Ireland Employment Monitor. That’s an unemployment rate of 16.1 per cent of the labour force. This would be the highest rate of unemployment since 1986, higher than 2012 at the height of the last recession.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) announced that it will lift the ban on disconnections of gas and electricity domestic customers for non-payment of an account from 1st June 2021, leaving many households with large arrears vulnerable. Ensuring homes are more energy efficient will go some way to ensuring lower costs in the future.