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Income Distribution

A brief snapshot on how Ireland is performing in terms of income distribution and some policy proposals.

There are 1.3 million people experiencing deprivation in Ireland, an increase of 215,000 since this Government came to office in 2011.  The numbers experiencing deprivation have almost doubled since the crash of 2008.

US Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich has called for the introduction of a Basic Income system.  He has linked Basic Income to labor market uncertainty, to climate change strategy, and to automation.

Europe: A Union for the Powerless as well as the Powerful? Review of the Social Situation in Europe and Considerations for a More Sustainable and Inclusive Future is the fourth report in Social Justice Ireland's European Research Series. This report adresses a series of key issues including unemployment, social investment, taxation and poverty and social exclusion across the EU 28 member states.  The report identifies key trends and makes policy proposals in key areas.

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

The National Social Monitor 2015 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.

The Living Wage technical paper for 2015 has just been published.  The 2015 Living Wage rate is €11.50 per hour. This is the average gross salary required by full-time employed adult (without dependents) to afford a socially acceptable minimum standard of living across Ireland.

The introduction of a Universal State Pension for Ireland should be considered by the Pension Council announced today by the Tanaiste, Joan Burton TD. A fully-costed proposal showing how this could be done has been published by Social Justice Ireland. This proposal would:

Social Justice Ireland strongly urges the Government to put the think tank’s fully-costed proposal for a universal State pension for every person aged over 65 on the table for discussion. The call comes as the Department of Social Protection plans to set up an expert group to examine a retirement savings scheme for private sector workers.

ESRI Special Article: Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Service Pay Policies; Budget 2015 and Budgets 2009-2015.  This article examines the impact of Budgetary policy decisions on different income declies.

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