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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.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has published a study in which it recommends that the way to raise Ireland's employment so as to avoid the persistence of the current high unemployment rate is to reduce unemployment payments over time. It believes this should be supported by stricter job search requirements, additonal resources for FAS (to assist these job searches) and a reduction in the minimum wage.

Social Justice Ireland has claimed that Government’s proposals to adjust Ireland’s budget in the next four years is unjust and unfair. Government is proposing to achieve adjustments of €15bn by 2014 through taking €10bn in cuts and only €5bn in tax increases.  Ireland’s total tax-take is one of the lowest in the European Union. It is possible to raise Ireland’s total tax-take by €10bn and still remain a low-tax country.

Social Justice Ireland has challenged the current efforts by many vested interests to protect the corporate sector while allowing the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the working poor take the hit for the reckless actions of greedy bankers, incompetent regulators and an inept government.

EU Commissioner for Economic and Monitory Affairs, Mr Olli Rehn, has insulted Ireland’s poor and vulnerable people by refusing to meet the Community and Voluntary Pillar that represents these people in the social partnership process.  By refusing to meet the C+V Pillar the Commissioner has confirmed that the European Commission supports the Government’s budgetary strategy which will damage the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the unemployed. 

There is one dominant framework or paradigm concerning work that is accepted in 
most of the western world. This paradigm equates meaningful work with paid 
employment. It asserts that full time jobs are available for everyone seeking them, 
that these jobs will provide adequate income for people holding them and their 
„dependants‟ and that good social insurance will be available for people who are sick 
or unemployed. In this way everyone will have meaningful work, adequate income, 

An overview of the borrowing  needs of fifteen major developed-country governments in 2011 shows that Ireland is the country in the middle in borrowing needs when measured as a percentage of GDP. According to the International Monetary Fund  (IMF) Japan, USA, Greece, Belgium Italy, France and Portugal all require a higher percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to finance their budgets in 2011. All require more than 20 per cent of GDP.

TAX BREAKS result in the Irish exchequer forgoing €11 billion in income annually, according to a research paper presented at the Dublin Economics Workshop in Kenmare. The paper was written by two members of the Commission on Taxation: Dr Micheál L Collins, an economist at TCD, and Mary Walsh, a chartered accountant.

The Full Document can be downloaded below

The issue of literacy has been contentious in recent times. The Department of Education’s policy for tackling literacy problems among adults is in the opinion of Social Justice Ireland simply unacceptable.

Irish public opinion continues to increase its support for  stronger EU economic governance, Along with the Finns, Ireland showed a 13% rise in those who want stronger European measures and coordination to combat the economic crisis, with a total of 77% in favour.

Comhar, Ireland’s Sustainable Development Council, has published its research report, ‘Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland’ (August 24, 2010). The full report may be accessed here. A leaflet providing some key points may be accessed here