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Low Pay

Specific interventions are required to tackle the problem of in-work poverty. Until Government makes tax credits refundable, it will not have an efficient mechanism by which it can address the issue of the working poor.

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.

If people in employment can’t be guaranteed a life free from poverty then there is something seriously wrong. The failure to make tax-credits refundable is no longer acceptable. It would make Ireland’s tax system fairer, address part of the working poor problem, and improve the living standards of around a quarter of a million people in Ireland at an affordable cost.

As part of Social Justice Ireland's recent submission to the Low Pay Commission, we advocated for the introduction of Refundable Tax Credits as a means to tackle the issue of Low Pay in the Irish economy.

A full analysis of the challenges posed by long-term unemployment and underemployment and our proposals on work are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2018, Social Justice Matters. The chapter is available below.