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Election 2016

Ireland has been through many “boom-Bust” economic cycles.  Each “bust” has led to assurances that lessons have been learned and that changes will be made to ensure that the next recovery will be sustainable.  Election 2016 occurs at the cusp of such discussions and offers us an opportunity to vote for policies which can indeed break the “boom-bust” cycle and deliver a more stable future.   Real sustainability will require a long term vision and a capacity to develop and implement policies which will have their impact in 10 or even 20 years’ time.

Social Justice Ireland's General Election briefing on Sustainability.

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society.  Over 213,000 children in Ireland are at risk of poverty and over 414,000 of all children in Ireland are experiencing deprivation.  A further very concerning trend that has emerged in Ireland is the significant increase in the number of young people aged 18-24 who are at risk of poverty.  Since 2008 this figure has increased by 13 percentage points.

Social Justice Ireland's General Election briefing on Children and Young People.

The transition from near-full employment to high unemployment was one of the most devastating characteristics of the recession. Despite signs of recovery over the past number of months, Ireland’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, at 8.8% (December 2015).More alarming is the fact that, despite the recovery, there are approximately 175,000 fewer jobs in the economy now than in 2007.

Social Justice Ireland's General Election briefing on Employment.

An unequal and two tier recovery is emerging in Ireland.  Poverty rates at all levels are higher in rural areas and the median income is lower in rural Ireland.  While employment is increasing in urban areas, unemployment is still a significant challenge for rural Ireland.

Social Justice Ireland's General Election briefing on Rural Ireland.

Demographics in Ireland are changing and this will have a significant impact on public policy.  It will mean increased pressure on education places at all levels, increased pressure on our health and community services as our population ages, and a changing labour force in the longer term.

Social Justice Ireland's General Election briefing on Demographic change.