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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.

Tax reliefs/expenditures represent revenue to the government that is being foregone. In 2016 tax reliefs amounted to approximately 10 per cent of total tax revenue - a very significant sum. However, unlike direct government expenditure, tax reliefs are not subject to annual assessment as part of the budgetary process. Social Justice Ireland considers it extraordinary that this is the case given the significant cost, and calls for reform of the process.

There are 2,700 properties to rent on the market, according to the latest Daft Rent Report, the lowest number of available rentals since the Report was first published in 2006.  The average asking rent is €1,366 – a year on year increase of 8.3%.  Notwithstanding inflation at a 6-year low, Dublin continues to see the highest rents, ranging from an average of €1,671 in the North County to €2,190 in the South.  Meanwhile rent inflation in Munster has reached an all time high of 12%, with rates in Connaught and Ulster also remaining high.  Government subsidies to private landlords have also increased in last number of years but how sustainable are these, and what are the alternatives?

Local government has the potential to transform our communities but that potential is not being realised.  It is time to harness this potential and deliver more power locally.

Decisions made by general and local Government affect every one of us.  Policies enacted on healthcare, housing, taxation, planning and so on all have an impact on our day to day lives.  Part of the ‘Good Governance’ pillar in Social Justice Ireland’s proposed Policy Framework for a Just Society, is the right of all people to meaningfully participate in the decisions and to have their say in shaping their communities and the world around them.  These rights are a fundamental part of living in a democracy and, as such, should be experienced by all equally.

The Department of Rural and Community Development have published its consultation on the Draft National Social Enterprise Policy.  In our submission, Social Justice Ireland recognises that, in the broader context, social enterprises provide a service to their communities.  It is therefore necessary to question the proposed resourcing, governance and oversight of social enterprises as proposed within this policy and to ensure that the policy meets the needs of the communities being served by social enterprises.  

Investing in lifelong learning and adult education is vital to prevent future skills mismatches and to ensure no-one is excluded from an ever changing labour market. 

Next week, Social Justice Ireland and Trócaire will co-host a hustings event for the Dublin constituency ahead of the European Elections on May 24th. Ahead of this, we have formulated a joint policy platform, with Five Key Policy Asks. They are:

  1. The Elimination of Poverty
  2. The Championing of Climate Justice
  3. Policy Coherence on the SDGs
  4. Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
  5. Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights

While we welcome the fall in the proportion of employees earning the minimum wage or lower, the fact is that despite very welcome increases in the NMW in the last few years, it remains about 18 per cent below the living wage. It is long past time that government set a five-year timeframe to close the gap between the National Minimum Wage and the living wage, and implement a system of Refundable Tax Credits in Budget 2020 to help mitigate the issue of in-work poverty.

The work of Ireland’s carers receives minimal recognition despite the essential role their work plays in society.   It is time that Government allocate sufficient resources to supporting the work of carers in Ireland.

Policy and political rhetoric too often pays lip service to goals of gender equality and to the contribution made to society by those in unpaid work, without making any significant moves to improve the lot of those, typically women, who play the economically and socially imperative roles that so often go unremunerated. It is time for this to change.

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