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Policy issues concerning Economy

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 Supple

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.

  • Government should roll out its proposed 90 Primary Care Networks before the end of 2015.
  • As resources become available from Ireland’s recovery priority must be given to securing decent services in areas such as health and education.
  • Essential infrastructure in areas such as social housing and disabilities should also be prioritised.
  • Access to health care at any age should not be determined by the content of one’s wallet.

Taxation plays a key role in shaping Irish society through funding public services, supporting economic activity and redistributing resources to enhance the fairness of society.  This forms a core element of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the challenges and our proposals on Taxation are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

As part of our Socio-Economic Review 2015 'Towards a Just Society' Social Justice Ireland sets out its views on how Ireland can ensure the future does not repeat the mistakes of the past. It sets out a guiding vision for a just society and a policy framework that would deliver a just future for all.  This policy framework is available below.

Tackling poverty and income inequality effectively is a multifaceted task. It requires action on many fronts, ranging from healthcare and education to accommodation and employment. However, the most important requirement in tackling poverty is the provision of sufficient income to enable people to live life with dignity.  This forms a core element of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland.

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