You are here

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.

Support for people to remain in their own homes is a key and appropriate policy objective and coincides with the wishes of most older people. A key component of this is a statutory basis for home care packages.

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 came into force today, March 4th 2019. This piece of legislation has as its objectives the provision 'for a requirement that employers provide employees with certain terms of employment within a certain period after commencing employment; to impose sanction for certain offences; to further provide for a minimum payment due to the employees in certain circumstances; to prohibit contracts specifying zero as the contract hours in certain circumstances and to provide for the introduction of banded contract hours; to further provide for prohibition of penalisation and for those purposes to amend certain other pieces of employment law'.

Under-employment seems to have stopped falling. Yet at over 100,000 people it remains high and this spare economic capacity might, at a practical level, mean that thousands are struggling financially. It also suggests that we are further from full employment than government would like us to believe and these under-employed people could, along with some other categories, conceivably swell real unemployment numbers by almost 170%.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development’, which outlines the Government’s commitment to reaching the UN target of allocating 0.7% of our GNI to official development assistance by 2030.  The reiteration of the commitment to Ireland’s ODA target is welcome, and Government is to be commended for setting a date by which it will meet this target.   

The release announcing the latest social housing output data last week would indicate that Rebuilding Ireland is exceeding its targets in the provision of social housing to those on low incomes.  Unfortunately, the reality is that 45% of local authorities failed to meet their build targets and reliance on the private rented market to provide answers continues.


We are facing into local elections in May 2019. Sustainable local development should be a key policy issue on the local government agenda.


Ireland ranks 11th out of 15 comparable EU countries in this year’s Sustainable Progress Index. ‘Measuring Progress: The Sustainable Progress Index 2019’ ranks 15 comparable EU countries based on their delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ireland’s overall ranking in the bottom third will be noted by key stakeholders after the Irish Government published its SDG ‘National Development Plan’ just last year, committing itself to the UN SDGs across all policy areas. 

With reports this week of another multi-national aiming to replace call centres with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ireland needs to invest in human capital to prepare for the impact of digitalisation.

A pattern seems to have emerged in the narrative surrounding Finland's pilot programme: “Basic Income has no positive effect employment take-up”. The reality is somewhat more nuanced.


The estimated cost of the overrun of the budget for the National Children’s Hospital currently stands at €450m.  Details have emerged of where the €99m to cover the cost of the National Children’s Hospital overrun in Budget 2019 will come from.   This will have an impact across a number of Departments and projects in 2019 and comes with a social and economic cost as well as a political one.  Government has yet to identify where the remainder of the €350m to cover the cost overrun will come from.  This information should be made available to the Oireachtas as soon as possible.

Pages