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Budget

Budget 2020 is an opportunity for government to implement a number of policies which would assist Ireland in meeting its environmental targets. Social Justice Ireland's budget submission contains a number of proposals that would help meet Ireland's targets while also incentivising better behaviour by our citizens and raising hundreds of millions of euros in revenue.

Our Budget 2020 submission contains a half a billion euro investment package that would allow rural and regional Ireland needs to thrive, including in areas of tourism, rural transport, enterprise, and rural broadband.

To support carers and people with disabilities to live fulfilling lives within their communities, Government must, in the forthcoming Budget, Introduce a cost of disability payment, increase investment in disability services, including respite and personal assistant services, increase the Domiciliary Care Allowance and expand the Free Travel scheme to include people in receipt of DCA, and increase the annual Carer's Support Grant.

Healthcare services are fundamental to wellbeing - important in themselves and important to economic success in a range of ways, including improving work participation and productivity. Securing healthcare services and infrastructure is a key policy area that must be addressed urgently as part of Budget 2020.

Social Justice Ireland welcomed the decision to tax windfall gains from re-zoned land in 2010 and strongly condemned its removal five years later as one of the most retrograde policy initiatives in recent years. Government should bring back the tax on windfall gains from re-zoned land in Budget 2020.

Adequate social welfare payments are required to prevent and address poverty. Without the social welfare system 43.8 per cent of the Irish population would have been living in poverty in 2017. In order to keep pace with earnings growth, social welfare rates should increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020.

Budget 2020 is the ideal time to reform how Ireland does corporate taxation. At present, too many firms get away with paying low effective rates or availing of overly generous subsidies or tax holidays. Our Budget 2020 submission, published in June, contains numerous proposals to improve matters.

Social Justice Ireland is seriously concerned that Government is not planning sufficiently for the changes that Ireland’s ageing population will bring. Over the coming decades there will be a steady increase in older people and people with disabilities accessing services. In Budget 2020, government must take steps to prepare for changes that will arise as Ireland's population profile changes.

Last week the Department of Finance noted that some of Taoiseach Varadkar’s key taxation promises could be “inequitable” and lead to increased benefits for higher earners while middle-income taxpayers lose out. In this article, we present a number of possible situations for comparison. In all cases the income tax reduction policy examined would carry a full year cost of between 1.3% and 1.5% of the total income taxation yield (€299m-€342m). Click here to see which are the fairest options for Government in Budget 2020.

While Ireland faces a number of challenges, it is important to remember that many people in the world face a far worse situation. Budget 2020 should be seen as an opportunity to build on the progress made last year in moving towards the UN-agreed target for overseas aid.

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