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.

Despite impressive jobs growth, regional variations in employment trends show economic growth is not benefiting all parts of the country equally

Regional variations in employment trends point to imbalanced economic growth that is not benefiting all parts of the country equally.  This is one of the key findings from the latest Employment Monitor.   Jobs growth over the last couple of years has been impressive and very welcome, but when it is broken down by region, trends are very uneven.

Ireland needs a new and radical social contract

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

Government should review Ireland’s tax policy priorities and raise the overall tax take

As Ireland faces into a very new international reality on taxation it is essential that tax policy priorities be adjusted to ensure three outcomes: (i) that the overall tax-take is increased appropriately, (ii) that the tax-base is broadened and (iii) that a fairer taxation system is developed.  Government should raise the overall tax take by three percentage points by 2021.  Social Justice Ireland estimates that a three percentage point increase in the overall tax take would provide an average yield of €9 billion per annum in additional taxation revenue.

Ireland not making progress in meeting Europe 2020 Targets

Ireland is not making progress towards meeting some of its Europe 2020 Targets.  This is one of the main findings of Social Justice Ireland's  latest report, Ireland and the Europe 2020 Strategy.  The report finds that Ireland needs to make greater efforts to meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment and reducing poverty and social exclusion.

Ireland ranked 11th of EU-15 countries in Sustainable Progress Index

Ireland is making poor progress when ranked against the other 14 countries in the EU-15.  The new Sustainable Progress Index, published  by Social Justice Ireland to mark UN World Social Justice Day, February 20, 2017, shows the scale of the challenge facing Ireland under the headings of economy, society and environment.

Median incomes increase but numbers in poverty still worrying

The CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions has been published.  It shows that despite an increase in median incomes 789,855 people are living in poverty in Ireland today.  Of this number 245,645 are children under the age of 18.  Despite the increase in median incomes and other signs of economic recovery these figures show that a significant proportion of the population is still living in very difficult circumstances.  These figures are unacceptable in a developed Western economy.

100,000 people trapped in underemployment – headline employment figures mask worrying trends

Over 100,000 people are currently working part-time hours, but would take full-time employment if they could find it.  This figure has increased by 25 per cent since 2008 and points to a worrying employment trend in Ireland.  This is one of the key findings from Social Justice Ireland's latest Employment Monitor. Some of this part-time work gives rise to increased dependency on state income supports.

Failure to address social challenges is undermining confidence in the EU

Economic recovery has yet to be experienced by large numbers of people in Europe.  Many remain excluded as they continue to lose out in employment, education, healthcare, poverty and related services.  This is undermining the confidence many people had in the European project because they see the EU constantly giving priority to economic issues ahead of social challenges.

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