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Public Policy

The cost of obesity could more than quadruple within the next 15 years to a total of €1,175 a year for every man woman and child in the State unless more is done to tackle the problem, a joint Irish Heart Foundation and Social Justice Ireland report has revealed.

Social Justice Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation completed in-depth review of evidence on obesity and food poverty in Ireland in June 2015.  This report examines the future health costs of obesity and food poverty and makes a proposal for health related taxation as a policy instrument to address the challenge Ireland faces.

  • Government should roll out its proposed 90 Primary Care Networks before the end of 2015.
  • As resources become available from Ireland’s recovery priority must be given to securing decent services in areas such as health and education.
  • Essential infrastructure in areas such as social housing and disabilities should also be prioritised.
  • Access to health care at any age should not be determined by the content of one’s wallet.

Austerity policies in the EU have contributed to intense economic suffering, particularly for young people and other vulnerable social groups, a new report has found. 123 million EU citizens – one in every four – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion – an increase of 7 million in the six years up to 2013.  An extra 8.4 million people became unemployed in the same period and almost one quarter of economically active young people in the EU are unemployed.  Young people constitute the largest group in the EU that is underemployed and feels discouraged in looking for work.

'Poverty and Inequalities on the Rise - Just Social Models needed as the solution' is the third in a series of annual research reports prepared by Social Justice Ireland for Caritas Europa documenting the human and social impact of austerity policies adopted by the European Union and its member states with a particular focus on Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

As part of our Socio-Economic Review 2015 'Towards a Just Society' Social Justice Ireland sets out its views on how Ireland can ensure the future does not repeat the mistakes of the past. It sets out a guiding vision for a just society and a policy framework that would deliver a just future for all.  This policy framework is available below.

The provision of, and access to, a level of public services regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally forms the Decent Services Pillar of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the challenges and our proposals on Public Services are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

Ensuring that adequate and appropriate accommodation is available for all people and the development an equitable system for allocating resources within the housing sector forms a core piece of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the policy challenges and proposals on Housing are outlined in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

The troika made a major mistake in deciding the terms of Ireland’s bailout programme when they failed to factor in its social impact according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Speaking at the IMF conference in Dublin Castle last Monday, he said the same mistake had also been made in other countries when they failed to consider the effects that austerity policies would have on people.

Social Justice Ireland strongly urges the Government to put the think tank’s fully-costed proposal for a universal State pension for every person aged over 65 on the table for discussion. The call comes as the Department of Social Protection plans to set up an expert group to examine a retirement savings scheme for private sector workers.

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