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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.

Dr Elizabeth Nixon (TCD) gave a presentation on children’s lives in Ireland, including some key findings from the Growing Up In Ireland survey, at our recent Social Policy Conference. One of the key messages to emerge from the GUI data is that children in Ireland are generally doing very well in terms of their development. Notwithstanding this, a substantial minority of children are displaying difficulties across one or more developmental domains. Dr Nixon outlines with these difficulties are and also examines the role that family structure and family relationships play in children’s lives.   

The poverty rates for single person households have risen notably in the last decade, while they have fallen or remain more-or-less static for others. Increased poverty for those living alone is keeping Ireland's poverty rates high and presents a policy challenge for government.

At our 32nd annual Social Policy Conference last month, Mick Clifford (Irish Examiner, Irish Journalist of the Year 2016) interviewed Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize Winner in 1993, and one of Ireland's greatest living authors.

Language is important. How we talk about ageing and older people frames the way we think about them. And how we think shapes the policies we are prepared to support - Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE

The Government's over-use of the so-called 'money message veto' is undemocratic and is a mis-use of the Constitution. Politicians must distinguish fairly between bills whose primary purpose is to spend money and those which merely include some measure of indirect expenditure at the initial implementation stage.

We have declared a climate emergency and we are a self-confessed laggard on climate change.  But despite all the talk, where is the action?  The 2019 Emissions Gap Report just published by the UN Environment Programme outlines just how serious the situation is.  But it also points to actions that can be implemented.  The time for talking about climate action is over, Government needs to start implementing policy to bring about real change. 

More than 689,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 200,000 are children. Despite moderate improvements in poverty rates and numbers, which are very welcome, there are an extra 36,000 people living in poverty in Ireland today compared to a decade ago.

Rebuilding Ireland srategy is not working. Given that this strategy fell far short of the scale of the response required in the first place, the failure to deliver the modest targets in all five pillars is a major indictment of Government policy. At our 32nd Annual Social Policy Conference, we reviewed the Government's housing strategy from the perspective of the young and old living in Ireland today and found it wanting.

People should be assured of the required treatment and care in their times of illness or vulnerability.  Yet in Ireland the healthcare system still struggles to provide an adequate service to everyone, and despite recent increases in resourcing we still have very high levels of unmet care needs.  

As a policy objective, Ireland can remain a low-tax economy, but not one incapable of adequately supporting necessary economic, social and infrastructural requirements. Our current low tax/low investment model is not sustainable and we regret that Budget 2020 did not take greater steps to address this.