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Social Inclusion

Life on a low income is the norm for a large proportion of our society. Prior to the current public health crisis, one in every seven people in Ireland lived with an income below the poverty line; about 680,000 people. Looking ahead, these numbers look set to rise as the very uneven impact of the Covid-19 crisis unfolds. 

Ireland has been without a National Action Plan for Social Inclusion for over two years, a failure of Government to protect the most vulnerable in society.  Yesterday (14th January 2020) the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection published the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025 which “sets out the Government’s ambition for Ireland to become one of the most socially inclusive States in the EU, defines a number of specific targets to be achieved and details a number of key commitments to deliver on this ambition and these targets” – but is this ambition enough?  Our review suggests that there will be almost the same number of people in poverty in 2025 as in 2018.

Social Justice Ireland welcomed the launch by Minister Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, of the National Social Enterprise Policy yesterday (18th July 2019).  We, with others in the Community and Voluntary Pillar, have advocated for the introduction of such a Policy for a long time and we look forward to working with the Department of Rural and Community Development and other stakeholders on its implementation.

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. 

With 800,000 people in poverty, record numbers on healthcare waiting lists and more than 3,800 children homeless, Ireland is a profoundly unequal place. Inequality hurts the economy, leading to unstable economic growth and employment, higher debt, housing bubbles and increased homelessness. Substantial evidence has emerged in recent years to support the view that economies and societies perform better across a number of different metrics, from better health to lower crime rates, where there is less inequality.

Some Reflections on Inequality in Ireland’ is part of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Research Series. It reflects on the reality of equality and the myths that enable its persistence.  It looks at inequality in economics and the ideologies in public policy that have produced the present unequal situation across the world. 

31 per cent of working-age people with a disability are employed, which is less than half the rate of those without a disability, according to Social Justice Ireland’s latest Quarterly Employment Monitor.

Social Justice Ireland's recent book entitled Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution? has received an award for original work in Irish Fiscal Policy from Ireland's Foundation for Fiscal Studies, Fiscal.ie.

Ireland is making poor progress when ranked against the other 14 countries in the EU-15.  The new Sustainable Progress Index, published  by Social Justice Ireland to mark UN World Social Justice Day, February 20, 2017, shows the scale of the challenge facing Ireland under the headings of economy, society and environment.

The National Social Monitor is Social Justice Ireland’s annual contribution to the public debate that is needed on Ireland’s future and how Ireland is performing in terms of promoting the wellbeing of all in society. 

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