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Future

This article was originally published here. It was written by Selim Jahan Director of the UN Human Development Report Office

From a human development perspective, work, rather than jobs or employment is the relevant concept.

The troika made a major mistake in deciding the terms of Ireland’s bailout programme when they failed to factor in its social impact according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Speaking at the IMF conference in Dublin Castle last Monday, he said the same mistake had also been made in other countries when they failed to consider the effects that austerity policies would have on people.

The Irish State should play a greater role in industrial development, basing its decisions on skilful evidence-based analysis and deeper democratic participation, speakers stated in a round-table discussion at Social Justice Ireland’s 2014 Policy Conference.

By 2025 the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 years will have doubled. One clear implication of this will be additional demand for healthcare services and facilities. This is just one of many examples highlighted in Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2014 which highlight the need for longer-term planning by Government if Ireland is to promote the common good and ensure the wellbeing of its growing population.

The National Social Monitor 2014 outlines the present situation on a range of policy issues that impact on people’s well-being.  Social Justice Ireland presents the National Social Monitor as a contribution to the public debate that is urgently needed on Ireland’s future and how Ireland is performing in terms of promoting the wellbeing of all in society. 

Social Justice Ireland's Socio Economic Review 2014 'Steps Towards a Fairer Future' is a 320-page Review which analyses the economic challenges facing Irish people and the impact of policies put in place by Government. It sets out five key policy areas it proposes should be addressed simultaneously if we are to build a fairer future i.e. macroeconomic stability, just taxation, social protection, governance and sustainability.  Below is a podcast outlining the contents of the review.

Dr Brigitte Unger director of the WSI (Economic and Social Institute) presented a paper at Social Justice Ireland’s Social Policy Conference 2013 entitled ‘Towards a Social Europe’.  It addresses the threats to social policies after the financial crisis, models for a Social Europe and specific suggestions for creating a Social Europe.

Ireland needs a combination of vision and pragmatic policies that can truly move the country towards a desirable and sustainable future.  We need to focus on evidence rather than on the endless assertions we hear communication each day seeking to defend dubious policy developments.

There are two questions concerning Ireland in 2014 and beyond that are not being addressed in a satisfactory manner at present i.e.

Professor Seán Ó Rian presented a paper at Social Justice Ireland's 2013 Social Policy Conference entitled 'Economic Foundations of Social Progress - Ireland through a Nordic Lens'.  The paper examines social protection, employment, finance and institutional transformation from an Irish and a European perspective.

The paper is available here.

The presentation and Q & A session are available to view below.

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