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Policy issues concerning Inequality

US Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich has called for the introduction of a Basic Income system.  He has linked Basic Income to labor market uncertainty, to climate change strategy, and to automation.

The European Commission this week published the 2015 EU Youth Report. With regard to Ireland, the report reveals that Ireland recorded the highest fall in percentage points in its youth population since 2010 (-4 pp.). Ireland also recorded one of the largest proportions of young citizens leaving the country to settle in another EU Member State, although this trend is declining.

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

The cost of obesity could more than quadruple within the next 15 years to a total of €1,175 a year for every man woman and child in the State unless more is done to tackle the problem, a joint Irish Heart Foundation and Social Justice Ireland report has revealed.

Austerity policies in the EU have contributed to intense economic suffering, particularly for young people and other vulnerable social groups, a new report has found. 123 million EU citizens – one in every four – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion – an increase of 7 million in the six years up to 2013.  An extra 8.4 million people became unemployed in the same period and almost one quarter of economically active young people in the EU are unemployed.  Young people constitute the largest group in the EU that is underemployed and feels discouraged in looking for work.

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.

A discussion of the values underpinning decisions before and after the crisis forms part of the final chapter of our Socio-Economic Review 2015 'Towards a Just Society'.  This chapter 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.

Ireland can and should play a prominent role in the development of Sustainable Development Goals for the planet in 2015.  Government should also commit to ensuring it reaches the ODA target of 07.% GNP by 2020. A full analysis of the policy challenges and proposals on the Global South are outlined in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

‘Cherishing all Equally’, a new report by the independent think-tank, TASC, has revealed yawning gaps in income distribution in Ireland.

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