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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.

'Europe: The Excluded Suffer while Europe Stagnates’ is the tenth publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series.  The report reviews the social situation in the 28 EU member states and makes some proposals and recommendations for a more sustainable and inclusive future.  It analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services and taxation.  

Social Justice Ireland was invited to present our analysis of Budget 2017 and recommendations for Budget 2018 to the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight.  We were also invited by the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to discuss the Expert Group Report 'Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education'.  Our opening statemements to both committees are available to download below.

One hundred years after the 1916 Rising Ireland faces major choices that will shape its future for the decades ahead.  The dominant economic approaches and policies which have been favoured in recent decades in Ireland, the EU and beyond have failed to recognise the interdependent relationships between a vibrant economy, social cohesion, good governance and sustainability that must characterise any society if it is to thrive in the long run. Yet recognition of this interdependency is critically important if we are to fulfil our obligations to future generations of Irish people and to the planet on which we depend for our existence.  

Government should spend €1bn fiscal space on infrastructure to improve productivity and competitiveness in Budget 2017.  This would be a far better use of resources than giving tax cuts as incentives to attract ‘Brexit refugees’ from the City of London to Dublin.  Investment is crucial to addressing Ireland’s infrastructure deficits and to delivering a vibrant, productive, competitive and sustainable economy and a just society.  Investment is the cornerstone of our policy briefing Budget Choices 2017.

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.

The focus of the Programme for Government and 32nd Dáil must be on investment in infrastructure and services.  Lack of investment in housing, health, childcare, rural broadband and education threatens economic growth and stability.   The latest research from Social Justice Ireland  in ‘Choices for Equity and Sustainability’ shows that a lack of investment is undermining Ireland’s economic and social stability. 

The Government’s Spring Statement is unfair, contradictory and disappointing.  It lacks a clear guiding vision of where Ireland should be by 2020.  It also lacks clear policy commitments that would move Ireland towards being a just society.

Social Justice Ireland's Response to the Government's Spring Economic Statement 2015 may be accessed here.

Education allows people to live a full life and it can be an agent for social transformation.  Education is one of the key policy areas that must be addressed urgently as part of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the challenges in Education and our policy proposals are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

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