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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.

Earlier this year, the Government announced that income tax revenues for 2020 were only down 1 per cent compared to 2019. Preliminary estimates for Q4 2020, set out in the latest CSO release in their Earnings and Labour Costs series, show unadjusted average earnings up 5.5 per cent on the previous year to €844.98 per week or €25.56 per hour. But these announcements are not cause for celebration, they provide further evidence that Covid-19 has disproportionately affected lower earners.

A new Report from Mercy Law Resource Centre calls for urgent action to address barriers to housing supports for minority groups.

A recent publication by the Government’s own Parliamentary Budget Office provides an analytical model for public debt sustainability and shows, without debt consolidation or spending cuts, Ireland’s debt to income ratio over the next decade will be on a downward trajectory.


Ireland has faced challenges in meeting life long learning and skills targets, and although improvements have been made, the impact of the pandemic threatens to undo this progress.  A well-resourced, accessible and quality lifelong learning and skills framework is a must if we are to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and meet the challenges of a digital and green transition.

The gender employment gap is the difference in rates of employment for men and women.  New figures from Eurostat shows that education has a key role to play in closing this gap. For those with low educational attainment, the gap is wider than it was a decade ago.


The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) have published a review of Community Call, the programme which delivered co-ordinated support to vulnerable people remaining at home during Covid-19 lockdowns.  Community Call is an experiment in partnership between national and local government, and the community and voluntary sector.  It delivered the state organised and community-based support programme for those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable during Covid-19. 

The General Scheme of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 continues to be debated by Government. Here we look at the provisions around shared equity and what they'll really mean for home buyers.

There is a large disparity between the rates of minimum incomes across the EU27 as show by new figures released by Eurostat, but that’s only part of the picture.

The link between poverty and ill-health is well established by international and national research. A World Health Organization Commission that reported in 2008 on the social determinants of health found that health is influenced by factors like poverty, food security, social exclusion and discrimination, poor housing, unhealthy early childhood conditions, poor educational status, and low occupational status. A look at the the Covid-19 geohive clearly shows just how much of a postcode lottery healthcare inequalities can be.


A new report on ‘Digital automation and the future of work’ examines the nature, scope and possible effects of digital automation in the EU.  It identifies threats to job quality and an unequal distribution of the risks and benefits associated with digital automation. It also offers some policy options that, if implemented, would help to harness technology for positive economic and social ends. Overall, the report pushes for a new Digital Social Contract and a future of work that works for all.

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