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Policy issues concerning Fiscal Policy


The estimated cost of the overrun of the budget for the National Children’s Hospital currently stands at €450m.  Details have emerged of where the €99m to cover the cost of the National Children’s Hospital overrun in Budget 2019 will come from.   This will have an impact across a number of Departments and projects in 2019 and comes with a social and economic cost as well as a political one.  Government has yet to identify where the remainder of the €350m to cover the cost overrun will come from.  This information should be made available to the Oireachtas as soon as possible.

The cost of the new National Children’s Hospital which has almost doubled in four years will have significant knock on effects on the rest of the health service. Who is ultimately going to pay for the cost overruns?

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.

Social Justice Ireland's recent book entitled Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution? has received an award for original work in Irish Fiscal Policy from Ireland's Foundation for Fiscal Studies, Fiscal.ie.

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

As Ireland faces into a very new international reality on taxation it is essential that tax policy priorities be adjusted to ensure three outcomes: (i) that the overall tax-take is increased appropriately, (ii) that the tax-base is broadened and (iii) that a fairer taxation system is developed.  Government should raise the overall tax take by three percentage points by 2021.  Social Justice Ireland estimates that a three percentage point increase in the overall tax take would provide an average yield of €9 billion per annum in additional taxation revenue.

Social Justice Ireland was invited to present our analysis of Budget 2017 and recommendations for Budget 2018 to the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight.  We were also invited by the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to discuss the Expert Group Report 'Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education'.  Our opening statemements to both committees are available to download below.

The Knowledge Development Box (KDB) policy now being considered by the Department of Finance is proposing to offer preferential effective tax rate(s) to income generated from intellectual property and patents under the premise of nurturing innovation, encouraging companies to locate high-value jobs in Ireland, and promoting economic growth.

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. 

  • 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.

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