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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.

Documentation Regarding the Bank Guarantee, fowarded to the Oireachtas Committee on Public Accounts by the Department of Finance. 
15 July 2010 can be accessed here


As Ireland faces major decisions on whether or not to extend the €450bn bank guarantee there is growing questioning of the danger of moral hazard in this process. Moral hazard is the situation in which an individual, or institution or whatever, is insulated from risk while others pay the negative consequences of the risk.

Making tax credits refundable would benefit 113,000 low-income individuals in an efficient and cost-effective manner according to a new study published by Social Justice Ireland on July 5, 2010.

Disillusionment with the current welfare regime in Germany is real and growing. Interestingly, the solution being proposed by a growing bloc of Christian Democrats (Angela Merkel's party and major part of the current German Government Coalition) is that Germany should move to a Basic Income system. The group within the Christian Democrats proposing this move are led by Dieter Althaus, former premier of the German state of Thuringia.

The seasonally adjusted number of people on the Live Register increased from 439,100 in May to 444,900 in June 2010, an increase of 5,800. According to the Central Statistic’s Office’s most recent publication the unadjusted numbers saw an increase in the Live Register of 37,420 (+9.0%). This compares with an increase of 43,788 (+11.1%) in the year to May 2010.

October 19, 2005: Text of presentation by Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds at meeting with Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and the Public Service concerning the Review of Tax Reliefs and High Earner

Ireland’s total tax-take is far below the EU average according to statistics published June 28, 2010 by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. This publication shows that across the EU the total tax-take averaged 39.3% of GDP in 2008. For Ireland the comparable figure is 29.3%. This raises two major questions for Ireland:

László Andor, the European commissioner for employment and social affairs, has raised concerns that the austerity programmes being developed by national governments to address the present crisis will lead to deeper recession rather than recovery in Europe. 

The European heads of government have produced a strategy for the next ten years that is underwhelming to say the least. The development model on which it is built is lop-sided.