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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 pattern seems to have emerged in the narrative surrounding Finland's pilot programme: “Basic Income has no positive effect employment take-up”. The reality is somewhat more nuanced.

The estimated cost of the overrun of the budget for the National Children’s Hospital currently stands at €450m.  Details have emerged of where the €99m to cover the cost of the National Children’s Hospital overrun in Budget 2019 will come from.   This will have an impact across a number of Departments and projects in 2019 and comes with a social and economic cost as well as a political one.  Government has yet to identify where the remainder of the €350m to cover the cost overrun will come from.  This information should be made available to the Oireachtas as soon as possible.

The most recent Report shows that, while the rate of rent inflation may now be slowing, rents are still higher than they were before the Recession, with the average national rent reaching €1,347 per month.  Rebuilding Ireland, the Government's main housing policy document, relies heavily on the private rented sector as a sort of 'societal cure all', however this reliance (supported through subsidies and tax reliefs) is only serving to drive up rents until they are beyond the reach of many households.  Add to that the Minister's latest directive, that families who turn down more two social housing options will be suspended from the housing list for five years, and we clearly have a Government out of touch with the reality of low income households.

Time for Government to commit to a long-term funding strategy for higher education.

With local elections approaching in May of this year, now is a good time to examine the way Ireland has built its strcuture of government and how it differs from the European norm.

Libraries provide an important social outlet and educational role in Ireland, with 17.2 million visits recorded in 2016 by 754,748 members across 330 branch libraries and 31 mobile libraries.  Operated by Local Authorities, they play an important role in ensuring access to information, reading and learning material.

At such an uncertain time, domestically and globally, the government needs to make a centralised commitment to lift our most vulnerable out of poverty and to prevent any more people from falling into poverty. 

The increasingly imbalanced state of Gaelic football is merely one symptom of our imbalanced society. Ireland's current model, with so much development focused on the capital, precludes the kind of regional balance required for Ireland - and the GAA - to thrive.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiol & Community Health has found that ‘housing tenure, cost burden and desire to stay in own home’ are all associated with higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker associated with infection and stress.  With the number of households in private rented accommodation continuing to rise in Ireland, what does this mean for future generations and what policy responses are needed?

The cost of the new National Children’s Hospital which has almost doubled in four years will have significant knock on effects on the rest of the health service. Who is ultimately going to pay for the cost overruns?