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Policy Briefing on Budget Choices 2010

Social Justice Ireland's fully costed alternative Budget shows how Government could reduce borrowing by €3bn whle protecting the vulnerable in Budget 2011

Budget 2011 should eliminate tax breaks that mostly benefit the better off, should ensure the corporate sector makes a contribution towards rectifying Ireland’s current crisis, should take action to reduce the live-register by 100,000 in 2011, should tackle the working poor problem and increase social welfare rates for Ireland’s most vulnerable people. This would result in Government borrowing being reduced by €3bn while producing a stimulus package of more than €1.1bn in 2011.

Social Justice Ireland proposes that in Budget 2011 Government should:

  • Standard rate the tax-break for pension contributions;
  • Address the working poor issue by making tax credits refundable;
  • Introduce a Part-Time Job Opportunities Programme that would produce real part-time jobs for 100,000 unemployed people on a voluntary basis;
  • Introduce an income-contingent loan facility which would enable all third-level students borrow money to pay fees and cover their living costs;
  • Increase funding for primary level education and adult literacy programmes;
  • Provide substantial support for developing an integrated healthcare model through supporting primary care teams, older people and children and family programmes;
  • Increase all social welfare rates;
  • Introduce a levy on corporate sector profits;
  • Move towards meeting the UN target for Ireland’s Third World Aid Budget
 
These and many other proposals are outlined in the Policy Briefing. The proposals presented are progressive and accurately costed using the most up-to-date information available.
 
In its Policy Briefing Social Justice Ireland argues that its proposals taken together would:
  • Introduce some tax reform;
  • Ensure progressive redistribution;
  • Produce a fairer sharing of the burden;
  • Address the working poor issue;
  • Produce real part-time jobs for 100,000 unemployed people;
  • Protect the vulnerable
  • Make progress towards a better healthcare system;
  • Produce greater equity in the education system;
  • Move towards attaining the UN target for supporting the world’s poorest people;
  • Ensure the corporate sector would also make some small contribution towards rectifying Ireland’s current situation.
  • Produce a stimulus package worth more than €1.1bn in 2011. 
These proposals provide an integrated, coherent approach to building a fairer future that is both achievable and desirable. They are fiscally responsible. They preserve the living standards of Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable people. They also seek to develop greater fairness in the tax system and in Ireland’s response to its present series of crises.
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