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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.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the decision of the European Parliament to urge the EU to promote the introduction of a financial transaction tax such as the Tobin Tax which could raise around €200 billion per year in the EU and would also discourage speculative trading by making it more costly. A tax along these lines has been proposed constantly by Social Justice Ireland.

Fine Gael and Labour have produced a programme for Government entitled Government for National Recovery 2011-2016.

The full text of the Programme for Government 2011-2016 may be downloaded below

Social Justice Ireland has issued the following as an initial response to the new Programme for Government.

The Panel was established by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan on 10 September, 
2010, to examine the Department of Finance’s performance over the last ten years and 
advise how the Department might adapt to meet the challenges of the future. Ireland’s 
economic challenges are substantial, and have become more starkly defined over the three 
month period of our review. 
2. We had enormous support conducting our review. We met a large number of people 
The political and social achievements of Europe are under threat. Public over 
indebtedness, particularly in a context of crisis, exposes states to pressures to cut back 
investment in the field of social protection, access to health-care, education and housing. 
This reduces their ability to take action against inequalities and discrimination. The 
disappearance of jobs as a result of company relocations and technological change in the 

In its latest policy document, the Community and Voluntary Pillar, of which Social Justice Ireland is a member, has urged  that the time period for reaching the target of 3% of GDP in borrowing should be extended to 2016.  Below is a summary of the C+V Pillar's position which spells out  a 5-point plan which should be at the core of an incoming Government's agenda.

NCB have published a very interesting analysis of the future for Irish bank senior bondholders.  It shows there are almost €75bn in bonds held currently by the Irish banking system.  A substantial proportion of these (almost €25bn) are either subordinated or unsecured.

An article by financial journalist Michael Lewis in next month’s Vanity Fair argues that Ireland will have no choice but to default on the private debt (i.e. not sovereign debt). Lewis is well known for writing on Greece and Iceland and their financial crises. He argues strongly against the claim that Ireland has no choice but to repay the debts run up by gambling bankers and speculators. 

New research published by Social Justice Ireland  shows that, while poverty in Ireland is high, Government policies since 1987 have been increasing the income of the richest ten per cent of households and widening the gap between these and the rest of society. 

Social Justice Ireland has called on all political parties participating in the forthcoming General Election to spell out how they intend to reverse this process in the years immediately ahead.