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The cuts in expenditure proposed in the Bord Snip report are focused disproportionately on people who are poor or sick or older or vulnerable in some way. Cuts in welfare rates and in many services will mean that those who are vulnerable will bear the brunt of Government's attempts to balance its budget. 

Social Justice Ireland recognises full well that the country's finances are in bad shape and need to be rectified. However, Ireland is in this situation because of the activities of bankers, politicians, speculators, developers and many economists. Who should pay for the misdeeds of these people? The authors of the Bord Snip report provide a clear answer: from their perspective the vulnearable, the disadvantaged and those living in remote communities should be the hardest hit!  Social Justice Ireland rejects this conclusion totally.

Between April and September 2008, the Government and Social Partners reviewed progress under Towards 2016, the
Ten-Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006-2015.
To inform the Review, a detailed Progress Report was prepared on progress since the commencement of the Agreement
under each commitment. A copy of this Progress Report is available at

The text of the first formal review of the National Social Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016 has now been published.  This review started in February and concluded in September 2008. During that period there were dramatic changes in the economic and fiscal context in which the review was taking place.

On October 11, the Government published its White Paper in advance of Budget 2009.Without taking into account changes to be introduced on Budget Day it shows an expected Budget deficit of nearly €15bn in 2009, a reduction in capital spending of 6.3% and an expected fall in tax revenue of more than €1bn in 2009.  Initiatives to be announced on Budget Day will cause these numbers to change. 

This Bill provides for increases in the rates of social insurance and social assistance payments and improvements in Family Income Supplement. It also provides for certain amendments to the social welfare code, as announced in Budget 2009, and includes amendments to PRSI. The Bill also provides for amendment to a number of other Acts, including the Pensions Acts 1990 to 2007, the Civil Registration.

The roots of the current economic crisis lie in a set of policy decisions taken in the late 1990s.  It is important that this fact be recognised and acknowledged before decisions are made on the second Budget for 2009.  Otherwise the decisions made may serve to worsen the situation rather than provide a pathway towards a solution. 

Over the past half century Ireland embraced the whole process of liberal globalisation with enthusiasm. It built on the policy of free trade from the 1960s onwards. Its imports and exports as a percentage of GDP are among the highest in the world.