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Refundable Tax Credits

Living in poverty is a reality for one in five children in Ireland.  This means that around 230,000 children in Ireland are living in families with incomes below the poverty line.  This is one of the main findings from Poverty Focus 2019.  How long more can we afford to ignore these children and their living standards?  This issue can be addressed effectively.  Child poverty can be eliminated.

What are the latest data and trends on poverty in Ireland and why is life on a low income the norm for a large proportion of our society?  Social Justice Ireland’s annual Poverty Focus examines the nature and experience of poverty in Ireland and sets out a series of policy solutions. 

A full analysis of the challenges in work, unemployment and job creation and our proposed policy response is contained in Social Justice Matters: 2019 guide to a Fairer Irish Society.  The chapter is available below.

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.

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.

In order to improve the wellbeing of everyone in society, at all stages of the life cycle, it is vital that our policies address the causes of problems rather than their symptoms only.  It is through this lens that Social Justice Ireland examines the ten policy areas in the National Social Monitor. 

The distributive effects of an alternative Budget 2019 Income Tax Package.

As part of our Budgetary research Social Justice Ireland published Fairness and Changing Income Taxes on 1st October.  The analysis highlights the distributive impact taxation policy choices can have and the potential policy has to pursue both fair and unfair outcomes.

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.

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