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Inequality

More than 760,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 230,000 are children, despite some small improvements in poverty and deprivation rates.  These are the figures released today by the CSO from the annual Survey on Income and Living Conditions. 

700,000 on healthcare waiting lists, 500,000 homes without broadband, over 11,000 people homeless – a result of Government policy failing to tackle causes - Social Justice Ireland publishes National Social Monitor Winter 2018.

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.

Our SDGs policy briefing Inequality looks at inequality in Ireland, wealth inequality, international inequality and gender inequality all of which are currently issues of concern for many people.  It discusses some key causes of inequality, identifies a range of costs that follow from inequality and concludes with some proposals on how inequality could be reduced.  

With 800,000 people in poverty, record numbers on healthcare waiting lists and more than 3,800 children homeless, Ireland is a profoundly unequal place. Inequality hurts the economy, leading to unstable economic growth and employment, higher debt, housing bubbles and increased homelessness. Substantial evidence has emerged in recent years to support the view that economies and societies perform better across a number of different metrics, from better health to lower crime rates, where there is less inequality.

Some Reflections on Inequality in Ireland’ is part of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Research Series. It reflects on the reality of equality and the myths that enable its persistence.  It looks at inequality in economics and the ideologies in public policy that have produced the present unequal situation across the world. 

In this section of our National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 we look at income distribution patterns, the widening gap of income migration and poverty and propose a number of policy priorities to tackle the causes of these issues.

Government should stop subsidising the Accommodation and Food Services sector and instead should incentivise the kind of jobs that allow workers to achieve a decent standard of living.

Ireland now has the resources to ensure that inequality can be tackled effectively and the linked social injustices of poverty, waiting lists and homelessness can be addressed.  Priority should be given to reducing poverty, tackling the social housing crisis and reforming the healthcare system in both urban and rural Ireland.  Following on from our annual Sustainable Progress Index, Social Justice Ireland has published a 4-page brief on Ireland’s inability to get to grips with inequality.

Social Justice Ireland has partnered with Development Perspectives in support of their #SDGChallenge.  May is the month for SDG8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth.

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