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Policy issues concerning European Union

Social Justice Ireland has claimed that Government’s proposals to adjust Ireland’s budget in the next four years is unjust and unfair. Government is proposing to achieve adjustments of €15bn by 2014 through taking €10bn in cuts and only €5bn in tax increases.  Ireland’s total tax-take is one of the lowest in the European Union. It is possible to raise Ireland’s total tax-take by €10bn and still remain a low-tax country.

EU Commissioner for Economic and Monitory Affairs, Mr Olli Rehn, has insulted Ireland’s poor and vulnerable people by refusing to meet the Community and Voluntary Pillar that represents these people in the social partnership process.  By refusing to meet the C+V Pillar the Commissioner has confirmed that the European Commission supports the Government’s budgetary strategy which will damage the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the unemployed. 

Irish public opinion continues to increase its support for  stronger EU economic governance, Along with the Finns, Ireland showed a 13% rise in those who want stronger European measures and coordination to combat the economic crisis, with a total of 77% in favour.

The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a report, The Euro: an Irish Perspective. It is part of a broader study being conducted by NESC on Ireland and the EU.
 
On the Euro the Council’s analysis shows that:

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.

POVERTY is something we cannot afford, according to the European Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

In a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee today, March 25, 2010, Social Justice Ireland has called on the Taoiseach and the Irish Government to ensure that the European Council adopts a target of reducing poverty by 25% in the EU by 2020 and adopts social cohesion and social inclusion as explicit objectives of the European Strategy for 2020. The Council is set to meet today and tomorrow, March 25 and 26, 2010.

Following the EU Summit it is hard do work out what was decided or what the response of the Heads of Government will be to the huge response of the Social and Environmental organisations who challenged the European Commiossion's claim that they broadly supported the Commission's proposals for Strategy 2020.

Social and environmental organisations have reacted angrily to claims by the European Commission that they "broadly support" draft plans for the EU's Strategy 2020.  This overview misrepresents the views of major networks of organisations working with those who are poor and excluded across the EU.

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