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Policy issues concerning Civil Society

By 2025 the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 years will have doubled. One clear implication of this will be additional demand for healthcare services and facilities. This is just one of many examples highlighted in Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2014 which highlight the need for longer-term planning by Government if Ireland is to promote the common good and ensure the wellbeing of its growing population.

Social Justice Ireland's Socio Economic Review 2014 'Steps Towards a Fairer Future' is a 320-page Review which analyses the economic challenges facing Irish people and the impact of policies put in place by Government. It sets out five key policy areas it proposes should be addressed simultaneously if we are to build a fairer future i.e. macroeconomic stability, just taxation, social protection, governance and sustainability.  Below is a podcast outlining the contents of the review.

More than 285,000 people call on EU to consider Basic Income

285,042 EU citizens have called on the European Commission to consider a Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a fairer and simpler social security system.  Each of these citizens signed The European Citizens Initiative (ECI)1 for Unconditional Basic Income (UBI).2 The collection of signatures officially ended on Tuesday January 14th 23.59pm.  

A new report by Eurofound shows how Ireland has one of the highest rates of NEETS in Europe at 22%. Greece has the highest at 35.9%, Bulgaria 24.6% AND Spain has 21.1%.  NEETS are young people aged 15 – 29 who are not in education, employment or training. 

It would be totally unacceptable for Government to introduce a process of social dialogue that would benefit the rich and exclude the rest of us according to Social Justice Ireland, commenting on a proposal presented by the General Secretary of Impact, Mr Shay Cody recently. 

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.

The 17 Social Partner groups in the Community and Voluntary Pillar of social partnership have jointly expressed serious concerns about the lack of protection for the vulnerable in our society, in Government plans for national recovery.

A large empirical literature is emerging on the determinants of happiness and mental 
well-being. As would be expected, this topic has attracted attention from medical 
statisticians, psychologists, economists, and other investigators (including recently 
Easterlin 2003, Blanchflower and Oswald 2004, Helliwell and Putnam 2004, Lucas et 
al 2004, Layard 2005, Smith et al 2005, Ubel et al 2005, Gilbert 2006, and Kahneman 
et al 2006). However, a fundamental research question remains poorly understood. 
The following article appeared in the Rite & Reason section of the op-ed 
page of the Irish Times on October 16th, 2006. It is based on the opening 
chapter of the second edition of Social Policy in Ireland: Principles, Practice 
and Problems. That chapter, by Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds, is entitled: 
Progress and Public Policy: The Need for a New Paradigm. The book is 
edited by Sean Heály, Brigid Reynolds and Micheál Collins and is published 

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