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Policy issues concerning Population

The Government recently published the 2019 Spending Review of Carer’s Supports.  The findings of this review point to a need to increase investment in community care, and home help and to provide a statutory entitlement to Home Care Packages if we are to meet potential future demand.

In 2016 President Michael D.Higgins spoke of the importance of embracing mulitculturalism when he said "Difference is a resource.  Difference is richness.  That is the Ireland that is unfolding before us and I welcome it.".  With those words, the President laid down a marker to view diversity as a benefit, rather than a drain, enriching all of society.  The rise in populism and anti-immigrant sentiment is a danger to society and democracy.  It polarises communities and incites hatred, and in some cases, violence.  Ireland needs to take a whole of society and policy approach to embrace multiculturalism for the benefit of all.

Support for people to remain in their own homes is a key and appropriate policy objective and coincides with the wishes of most older people. A key component of this is a statutory basis for home care packages.

Current welfare systems were not designed to adapt to the challenges presented by automation and globalisation and are not fit for purpose. That's the view of a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute in the UK published to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week. The institute argues that governments should look to Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments around the world as they seek to address the risks posed by large-scale changes to the labour market while retaining the benefits of trade and technological progress.

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. 

Ireland needs an integrated transition from an agricultural to a rural and regional development agenda to improve the quality of life for all rural dwellers.  This will require policy coherence in terms of investment, social services, governance and sustainability as part of our Policy Framework for a Just Ireland.  A full analysis of the challenges in promoting facing Rural Ireland and our policy proposals are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

Ensuring that adequate and appropriate accommodation is available for all people and the development an equitable system for allocating resources within the housing sector forms a core piece of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the policy challenges and proposals on Housing are outlined in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

Professor Colin Scott's presentation at the Social Policy Conference 2014 is available to view.  Click the 'read more' link below to watch a larger video or to download the full text of the presentation.

The first definitive results of the 2011 census, undertaken on 10th April 2011, show that Ireland’s population continued to grow strongly from 2006, increasing by 348,404 to 4,588,252, and that the total number of non-Irish nationals increased by 124,624 persons or 29.7 per cent from 419,733 to 544,357.

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