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Rural Development

The European Union faces many challenges in relation to healthcare, cost of housing and financial distress that will be further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ireland and the EU urgently need to develop substantial coordinated actions on these issues.  ​

Social justice matters. That is why Social Justice Ireland publishes our annual socio-economic review. This book is about charting a course to a fairer Ireland. Social Justice Matters 2020 provides an analysis of the present situation on a wide range of issues and identifies a programme of initiatives and policies that can address our challenges in an integrated and sustainable manner.

Some of the key challenges facing rural Ireland are an older population, higher poverty rates and greater distances from every day services compared to urban areas.  If we want viable rural communities in all parts of Ireland what is possible in the next five years and what policy proposals would move us forward?  

Read Social Justice Ireland's Election Briefing on Rural Ireland for an outline of a number of key challenges facing rural Ireland and some policy proposals that should be in the next Programme for Government.

Budget 2020 does not contain the ‘bold and new decisions’ required to meet the ‘defining challenge’ of climate change, and there was no progress on examining subsidies that the CSO has highlighted as potentially environmentally damaging.

The Department of Rural and Community Development last week launched a public consultation (primarily aimed at people living and working in rural Ireland) on the development of Rural Policy.  This coincides with the end of the Action Plan for Rural Development, which launched in January 2017 and ends at the end of this year.  The online survey is open until the 11th October.  Addressing the many issues with rural development is a key policy area for Social Justice Ireland.  Check out some of our recent work in this area to support you to have your say.

In the Sustainability edition of our National Social Monitor,  we assess whether current policy on sustainability encompasses the three pillars of environment, society and economy and make proposals on how to transition towards a sustainable future. 

Our Budget 2020 submission contains a half a billion euro investment package that would allow rural and regional Ireland needs to thrive, including in areas of tourism, rural transport, enterprise, and rural broadband.

The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present.  But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions?  This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.

The increasingly imbalanced state of Gaelic football is merely one symptom of our imbalanced society. Ireland's current model, with so much development focused on the capital, precludes the kind of regional balance required for Ireland - and the GAA - to thrive.

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. 

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