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Investment

Last week (12th April 2018), the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government released its Review of Delivery Costs and Viability for Affordable Residential Developments, which enumerated the many reasons why providing affordable homes was difficult.  There are many issues with this report, primarily with the lack of urgency in the Government’s response to this national emergency, however one glaring problem is its viability and affordability model.  It is neither viable nor affordable.

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. 

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

Economic recovery has yet to be experienced by large numbers of people in Europe.  Many remain excluded as they continue to lose out in employment, education, healthcare, poverty and related services.  This is undermining the confidence many people had in the European project because they see the EU constantly giving priority to economic issues ahead of social challenges.

The latest issue of Social Justice Ireland's Employment Monitor examines regional employment trends.  Figures released in August by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a wide divergence in the experiences of Ireland’s different regions as regards unemployment and job creation trends.

The latest issue of Social Justice Ireland's quarterly employment monitor examines rural and regional trends in employment, unemployment and labour force participation.

There will be nearly 1 million people aged 65 and over by 2031 – an increase of 86.4 per cent.  Of these 136,000 will be aged 85 or over by 2031, an increase of 132.8 per cent.  Now is the time to plan Ireland’s investment in services and infrastructure. This is one of the key issues highlighted in the National Social Monitor 2016.

Budget Choices 2017 outlines Social Justice Ireland's comprehensive proposals and policies and policies that can deliver a vibrant economy, a just society and a sustainable future.

Government could substantially increase the resources available to finance social housing by invoking the structural reform clause contained in the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.This clause allows Government’s to cater for the short-term costs of implementing structural reforms that will have long-term positive budgetary effects.

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