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Income Distribution

Social Justice Ireland's Policy Briefing on Poverty and Income Distribution

There is no justification for reducing social welfare rates. Research produced by Social Justice Ireland shows that the take-home pay of TDs rose by €848 a WEEK since 1986 while unemployment benefit rates only rose by €135 in the same period. Government ministers’take-home pay rose by more than €1,533 a WEEK in the same period.

Some legislators in Ireland are still working with illusions when it comes to measuring poverty. A meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs on March 25, 2010 saw a number of members of Ireland's Dail and Senate comment on what they thought the basis for measuring poverty was.

A recently published book entitled The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, has produced the evidence that will no longer allow anybody to legitimately claim that income inequality doesn't matter.

Social Justice Ireland has challenged Government to adopt a target of ‘zero poverty’ by 2020. In its most recent Policy Briefing, Social Justice Ireland states that “Government needs to change direction in its approach to reducing poverty. A good starting point would be for Ireland and the EU to adopt a target of ’zero poverty’ to be reached by 2020.” This would be a very appropriate way of marking the European Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Return to work patterns are often a function of more than financial rewards and 
include such considerations as work availability, family commitments, travel to work 
time and the type of available employment. However, financial incentives are 
important and these depend on the balance between the individual/family’s disposable 
income when employed and when unemployed. 
 
The replacement rate for given income levels measures the proportion of out-of-work 

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