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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 total of 657,076 people were either on the live register or in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the last week of January 2021 according to the latest release by the CSO. While we know the latest round of restrictions is responsible for the increase in numbers in receipt of the PUP, the number on the Live Register also increased by almost 4,800 in the year to January 2021. So what’s going on?


Ireland is among the signatories of the recent Joint Declaration by the Ministers of the EPSCO Council ‘Overcoming poverty and social exclusion – mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on families – working together to develop prospects for strong children’. If Government is truly committed to the stated objectives of the joint declaration then significant resources and serious political and policy commitment to addressing child and family poverty are required.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has just released an analysis of some of the key metrics of the Vacant Site Levy for the third quarter of 2020.

According to the latest data published by the CSO, €2.4 billion was not collected by the Exchequer due to direct subsidies and revenue foregone due to preferential tax treatment supported fossil fuel activities in Ireland in 2018. This represents an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year. 

As part of of the Irish Health Survey 2019 the CSO published a report on 'Persons with a Disability' which gives data and insight into the self-reported health staus of people with a disability in Ireland.  One quarter of people with a disability report their health status as Bad or Very Bad and 43% of persons with a disability report some form of depression.  These figures are well in excess of the State average where just 4 per cent report their health status as Bad or Very Bad and 14% report some form of depression.  

A recent Oxfam report, published for the opening day of the World Economic Forum, reveals that the world’s 10 richest men saw their wealth increase by half a trillion dollars during the pandemic, while the 1,000 richest people on the planet recouped their Covid-19 losses within just nine months.

On Wednesday, 20th January 2021, the Minister’s office published the General Scheme of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020. Here we consider the cost rental provision of this draft legislation and whether or not it fits the bill.


The Department of Finance recently published an update to Ireland’s Corporation Tax Roadmap.  The update reaffirms Ireland’s commitment to a multilateral approach via the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework to address the tax challenges posed by the digitalisation of the economy.  It also contains a welcome recognition that a multilateral approach will require compromises and trade-offs.  A minimum effective corporate tax rate must be a policy instrument for consideration in light of the ever-changing global context and our commitment to the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework. 

A poverty premium is the extra cost that low income households face when paying for the same goods, services and amenities as wealthier households. A Report commissioned by the U.K. charities Fair by Design and Turn2us, undertaken by the University of Bristol, and published in November 2020 found that low income households paid an extra £478 a year in poverty premiums in 2019.

A study entitled 'Robots, labor markets and universal basic income' published in December 2020 takes an interesting look at the effects of selected labour policies - automation and basic income - have on worker productivity. 

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