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.

The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present.  But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions?  This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.

Social Justice Ireland is seriously concerned that Government is not planning sufficiently for the changes that Ireland’s ageing population will bring. Over the coming decades there will be a steady increase in older people and people with disabilities accessing services. In Budget 2020, government must take steps to prepare for changes that will arise as Ireland's population profile changes.

Last week the Department of Finance noted that some of Taoiseach Varadkar’s key taxation promises could be “inequitable” and lead to increased benefits for higher earners while middle-income taxpayers lose out. In this article, we present a number of possible situations for comparison. In all cases the income tax reduction policy examined would carry a full year cost of between 1.3% and 1.5% of the total income taxation yield (€299m-€342m). Click here to see which are the fairest options for Government in Budget 2020.

While Ireland faces a number of challenges, it is important to remember that many people in the world face a far worse situation. Budget 2020 should be seen as an opportunity to build on the progress made last year in moving towards the UN-agreed target for overseas aid.

Social Justice Ireland welcomed the launch by Minister Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, of the National Social Enterprise Policy yesterday (18th July 2019).  We, with others in the Community and Voluntary Pillar, have advocated for the introduction of such a Policy for a long time and we look forward to working with the Department of Rural and Community Development and other stakeholders on its implementation.

A Site Value Tax would be a fairer and more efficient way to generate additional government revenue than the current Local Property Tax, and it would also incentivise better use of land at a time when Ireland faces a significant housing and accommodation crisis.

Investment in education at all levels and throughout the life cycle can deliver a more equal society and prepare citizens to participate in a democracy. Social Justice Ireland has proposed a €429m education package for Budget 2020 that includes investment in areas such as adult literacy, DEIS, skills development, and community education.

The contribution of airplane emissions to climate change is well documented. It's time the aviation industry made a contribution to society that more accurately reflects the harm it does while ultimately incentivising individuals to fly less. Click here to read how Government could raise €200m in 2020 while benefiting the environment.

If we really value caring then we must begin to implement policies that support the men and women across the country who provide unpaid care every day and every week throughout the year.  

As different policy priorities can be articulated for each Budget, it is useful to bring together their cumulative effect. Here, we assess the cumulative impact of changes to income taxation and welfare over the three Budgets of the current Government (Budget 2017, 2018 and 2019).

Pages