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Policy issues concerning Economy

The Central Bank of Ireland is currently formulating its Strategic Plan 2019-2021.  In light of the number of regulatory issues coming to light - with tracker mortgages, over-charging and access issues - it is important that this Strategic Plan focus on consumer protection and regulation of the financial sector to ensure accountability and access to essential services.  See Social Justice Ireland's submission to the Central Bank here

A new study released today by the CSO reminds us that despite our improved economic performance, one in six Irish people are still living in poverty.

Successive Governments have continued to look to private entities to deliver public services.  This has given rise to a regulatory emphasis on safeguarding competition rather than protecting the consumer, leaving households dependent on essential services at the mercy of market forces.   The recommendations in a recent OECD report provide salutary advice.

The Daft.ie Rental Report released today showed that private rents continue to rise in Ireland, with average rent nationally now standing at €1,227 and reaching a high of €1,995 in South County Dublin.
There were 85,799 households (235,947 people) on the social housing waiting list in June 2017, a decrease of 6% from September 2016, however over half of that decrease is attributable to transfers from Rent Supplement to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

While the economy is doing well, it is crucial that policy-makers realise that many on lower incomes are not benefiting as they should. Almost 800,000 people in Ireland are living in poverty, a quarter of a million of whom are children. 1 million people in Ireland are experiencing deprivation. 105,000 people are working in a job with income so low they are living in poverty. Social Justice Ireland has a plan to fix this, and to build a fairer society for all.

Some tax proposals currently being considered by Government should be rejected because they would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes than to lower income employees according to a new study conducted by Social Justice Ireland.

Ireland is making poor progress when ranked against the other 14 countries in the EU-15.  The new Sustainable Progress Index, published  by Social Justice Ireland to mark UN World Social Justice Day, February 20, 2017, shows the scale of the challenge facing Ireland under the headings of economy, society and environment.

The focus of the Programme for Government and 32nd Dáil must be on investment in infrastructure and services.  Lack of investment in housing, health, childcare, rural broadband and education threatens economic growth and stability.   The latest research from Social Justice Ireland  in ‘Choices for Equity and Sustainability’ shows that a lack of investment is undermining Ireland’s economic and social stability. 

Tax cuts will not solve Ireland’s infrastructure problems, will not improve social services and will not deliver a fairer society.  Government, at the National Economic Dialogue, should take a long-term view and promote the common good by using all available resource to invest in Ireland’s social and physical infrastructure and services. This approach would lay the foundations for Ireland to deal with the many social, economic and demographic challenges it is currently facing and generate social and economic returns for the state.

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