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Budget Choices

The primary focus of Budget 2021 and 2022 should be on increasing employment and delivering infrastructure and services, NOT on reducing the deficit; it is crucially important that we do not repeat the mistakes made following the last crash. The new Government should outline a three-year stabilisation programme targeted at supporting incomes, restoring domestic demand, and sustaining strategic firms and institutions.  This will require a change to Ireland’s fiscal stance in the years immediately ahead.

COVID-19 will have many implications for Budget 2021.  Not least should be the recognition of the need for a functioning society for all underpinned and supported by a vibrant and sustainable economy.  Last year, New Zealand’s Government launched its first “wellbeing budget”, basing its allocations on wellbeing priorities for its citizens.  Speaking at the launch, the Finance Minister stated: “Success is making New Zealand a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life”.   Could such an approach work for Ireland?  We believe it could, and it seems that the parties discussing the formation of a new Government agree.  Here, we discuss some practical proposals that can be introduced in Budget 2021 that will deliver such a Wellbeing Budget. 

You wait all year for Social Justice Ireland to release a podcast and two come along in one week!  Our new podcast, Social Justice Matters, is now live on our website and on Spotify. Following the announcement of Budget 2020 last week, we have an interview with our CEO, Dr. Seán Healy, on an overview of Budget 2020 and a live recording of our Budget 2020 Analysis and Critique seminar recorded in Buswells Hotel less than 24 hours after the announcement of the Budget itself. Tune in!! 

The ongoing confusion regarding the funding of applications to the SEAI Deep Retrofitting pilot is disappointing, particularly as one of the headline policies in the Climate Action Plan 2019 to ensure Ireland transitions to a low carbon future is increased retrofitting.  Will Budget 2020 deliver the resources required to establish a comprehensive and ambitious retrofitting programme?

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.

The contribution of airplane emissions to climate change is well documented. It's time the aviation industry made a contribution to society that more accurately reflects the harm it does while ultimately incentivising individuals to fly less. Click here to read how Government could raise €200m in 2020 while benefiting the environment.

Click here to read Budget Choices 2020, Social Justice Ireland's submission to government ahead of Budget 2020. You can also watch the video of the launch of Budget Choices 2020, where we go through the key details of our submission.

We have strongly advocated on economic and social issues and consistently highlighted fair and progressive options that are available to Government within the Budgetary process. Here are some of the policy areas we have consistently highlighted in our budgetary proposals and where progress has been made.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that Budget 2019 addresses the key challenges facing Irish people. Adopting the measures Social Justice Ireland are proposing, each of which has been fully costed and is accompanied by a proposed funding method, would move Ireland in the direction of becoming a fairer, more equal society.

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