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Taxation

The current approach to housing policy in Ireland is not working; the private sector will never build social housing units on the scale required.  Government must commit to building sufficient social housing units to eliminate the current housing waiting list.  This is the only way to address Ireland’s ongoing housing and homelessness crisis.  This is a key finding of Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2017.

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. It examines progress in areas such as housing, healthcare, education, employment, rural development and the environment among others.

Budget Choices 2018 outlines Social Justice Ireland's fully costed expenditure and taxation proposals to deliver an economically sound and socially fair budget.

Budget 2018 should substantially increase investment in infrastructure such as social housing and rural broadband, should address major problems in services like healthcare and education, should support development of the economy by investing in affordable childcare while not generating any net reduction in taxation.  These are the key recommendations of Social Justice Ireland's Budget Choices policy briefing which sets out fully-costed proposals on expenditure and taxation for Budget 2018.

Ireland is under-investing in key areas such as education, social housing and rural broadband. In order to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth public investment must be given priority in Budget 2018 and beyond. Most people want to see reductions in healthcare waiting lists, increases in social housing provision and reliable high-speed broadband across rural Ireland. To achieve this means there should be no net tax-cuts in Budget 2018. 

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

As Ireland faces into a very new international reality on taxation it is essential that tax policy priorities be adjusted to ensure three outcomes: (i) that the overall tax-take is increased appropriately, (ii) that the tax-base is broadened and (iii) that a fairer taxation system is developed.  Government should raise the overall tax take by three percentage points by 2021.  Social Justice Ireland estimates that a three percentage point increase in the overall tax take would provide an average yield of €9 billion per annum in additional taxation revenue.

Social Justice Ireland’s policy briefing on Fairness and Tax Reform examines the need to raise Ireland’s overall tax take.  It outlines how this can be done in a fair way by reforming the tax system and broadening the tax base.  The briefing also focuses on corporate tax reform and assesses a number of income tax and USC proposals from the persepctive of fairness and the most appropriate use of limited resources.  

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.

The executive summary of Social Justice Ireland's Socio-Economic Review 2017 'A New Social Contract for a New Century' is available below.

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