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17th of October is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  In this era of increasing global wealth and economic growth it is important to highlight the large numbers of people living in poverty both here in Ireland and globally.  It is also a day to point to the policy options available that can improve the living conditions for all.  We can and should implement these policies without delay.

Social Justice Ireland submitted to the Department of An Taoiseach on the Draft National Risk Assessment 2018.  In our submission, we urge Government to view the absence of a progressive tax system and lack of infrastructure development as real and immediate risks and to take necessary steps to address them.

On Thursday, 26th April 2018, Minister Denis Naughten unveiled Government's Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020Social Justice Ireland welcomes this development and the commitment of Government to document the specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which each current and new Government policy relates, and calls for the addition of an impact assessment for each of those policies in achieving Ireland’s goals and the closing of data gaps to support the development of an achievable SDG strategy.

Following up on Social Justice Ireland’s Sustainable Progress Index, we publish our report monitoring Ireland’s progress towards each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and call on Government to ensure that achieving the SDGs is a key consideration for future policy-making, to identify to which SDG each new policy relates and document how that policy will support Ireland to achieve its goals.

Successive Governments have continued to look to private entities to deliver public services.  This has given rise to a regulatory emphasis on safeguarding competition rather than protecting the consumer, leaving households dependent on essential services at the mercy of market forces.   The recommendations in a recent OECD report provide salutary advice.

Budget 2018 should substantially increase investment in infrastructure such as social housing and rural broadband, should address major problems in services like healthcare and education, should support development of the economy by investing in affordable childcare while not generating any net reduction in taxation.  These are the key recommendations of Social Justice Ireland's Budget Choices policy briefing which sets out fully-costed proposals on expenditure and taxation for Budget 2018.

Ireland is under-investing in key areas such as education, social housing and rural broadband. In order to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth public investment must be given priority in Budget 2018 and beyond. Most people want to see reductions in healthcare waiting lists, increases in social housing provision and reliable high-speed broadband across rural Ireland. To achieve this means there should be no net tax-cuts in Budget 2018. 

The executive summary of Social Justice Ireland's Socio-Economic Review 2017 'A New Social Contract for a New Century' is available below.

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