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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 recently published book entitled The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, has produced the evidence that will no longer allow anybody to legitimately claim that income inequality doesn't matter.

Following the EU Summit it is hard do work out what was decided or what the response of the Heads of Government will be to the huge response of the Social and Environmental organisations who challenged the European Commiossion's claim that they broadly supported the Commission's proposals for Strategy 2020.

The HSE's Service Plan for 2010 reveals the HSE's targets for hospital, community and primary care services.  The failure of Government (not the HSE) to support the initiatives required to provide a comprehensive network of primary care teams across the country means that the healthcare system will continue failing to provid

More than 23 million people in the EU were unemployed in May 2010 according to the latest statistics published by Eurostat equivalent to 10% of the labour force. Of these, 15.789 million were in the 16 countries in the euro area. In the year since May 2009, unemployment rose by 1.8 million in the EU, and by 1 million in the euro area.

Social and environmental organisations have reacted angrily to claims by the European Commission that they "broadly support" draft plans for the EU's Strategy 2020.  This overview misrepresents the views of major networks of organisations working with those who are poor and excluded across the EU.

Social Justice Ireland has challenged Government to adopt a target of ‘zero poverty’ by 2020. In its most recent Policy Briefing, Social Justice Ireland states that “Government needs to change direction in its approach to reducing poverty. A good starting point would be for Ireland and the EU to adopt a target of ’zero poverty’ to be reached by 2020.” This would be a very appropriate way of marking the European Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Since 2008 successive Governments have pursued an austerity policy which has included deficit-cutting, lower spending, a reduction in the benefits and public services provided by the State coupled with increases in taxes but not on the corporate sector. This austerity approach is not working.

It isn't often that we cite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as vindicating our position but information revealed by the Department of Finance in response to a freedom of information request does exactly that.

What are the Facts on NAMA?

There is much contradictory and very confusing comment on what the facts really are concerning NAMA.  Here we list and link to a number of sources that readers may find of help as they try to discover the facts about NAMA.

The Government’s proposed National Asset Management Agency (Nama) will buy loans worth €77 billion at a discount of 30 per cent. The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan told the Dáil that NAMA would pay approximately €54bn for loans it takes over from Irish banks. According to the Minister this amount is an estimate based on the long-term economic value of the assets against which the loans were secured.

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