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Income Distribution

The increase in the proportion of Ireland’s population at risk of poverty, (from 14.1% to 15.8% in one year) clearly identifies a major challenge for Government as it finalises its Budget for 2012. Budget 2012 must give priority to protecting Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable people according to Social Justice Ireland

Inequality has been growing dramatically in the USA according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on November 25, 2011.  After-tax income for the highest-income households grew more than it did for any other group in the USA between 1979 and 2007. The trend in Ireland is along similar lines. This needs to be reversed in Budget 2011 and it can be done.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of the ESRI report on ‘Tax, Welfare and Work Incentives’ which finds that 8 out of 10 people receiving welfare payments would increase their income by at least 50% if they were to obtain a job. These findings comprehensively refute the argument that most unemployed people ‘are better off on the dole’.

A United Nations report has strongly criticized the Government’s policy of making major cuts in public services while keeping Ireland a low-tax country. The report states that this approach hits poor people hardest in a time of recession.

A Basic Income System for Ireland - WHY and HOW

New research published by Social Justice Ireland  shows that, while poverty in Ireland is high, Government policies since 1987 have been increasing the income of the richest ten per cent of households and widening the gap between these and the rest of society. 

Social Justice Ireland has called on all political parties participating in the forthcoming General Election to spell out how they intend to reverse this process in the years immediately ahead.

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.

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