Government must ensure employment crisis does not turn into social crisis
The jobs crisis precipitated by the Covid-19 health crisis looks set to be felt for years to come, with a recovery not expected until after 2021. There is a real danger that this jobs crisis will lead to an increase in poverty and exacerbate existing inequalities. The plan for Resilience and Recovery, the National Economic Plan and Budget 2021 must ensure that the jobs crisis we currently face does not turn into a social crisis.
Conference Proceedings: A New Social Contract, A New Social Dialogue: Building a Better Future
On Wednesday, 18th November 2020 Social Justice Ireland held its Annual Social Policy Conference entitled A New Social Contract, A New Social Dialogue: Building a Better Future. This conference featured presentations by national and international experts as well as a panel discussion with representatives of the five pillars of Social Partnership. All presentations given on the day are contained within this book of conference proceedings.
July Jobs Stimulus - Analysis
The July Jobs Stimulus contains some welcome elements which have the potential to support businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, to absorb the economic impact of Covid-19. However, it remains to be seen if the package is of the scale required to begin the process of real economic recovery for the many businesses impacted, to alleviate the financial hardship of households on reduced incomes and to secure medium-to-long-term societal wellbeing. Read our full analysis here.
Budget should focus on employment, services and infrastructure
The primary focus of Budget 2021 and 2022 should be on increasing employment and delivering infrastructure and services, NOT on reducing the deficit; it is crucially important that we do not repeat the mistakes made following the last crash. The new Government should outline a three-year stabilisation programme targeted at supporting incomes, restoring domestic demand, and sustaining strategic firms and institutions. This will require a change to Ireland’s fiscal stance in the years immediately ahead.
Time for a Youth Employment Strategy
It is concerning the new Programme for Government does not mention youth unemployment or a strategy to tackle it, particularly given the manner in which young people will likely be disproportionately affected by unemployment as the economy recovers from Covid-19.
Programme for Government misses opportunity for pension reform
The current State Pension system deprives many people who have spent their lives in caring roles of financial security in their old age. These are people society should be rewarding, not penalising. With the new Programme for Government committing to the proposed Auto Enrolment Plan, an opportunity to increase the fairness of the Irish pension system is being missed, and at a substantial financial cost.
Reaction to draft Programme for Government
A full analysis of the draft Programme for Government will be published in due course. In the meantime, our initial response highlights 10 positives contained within the PfG and 10 causes for concern. We go on to list other areas contained in the document on which Social Justice Ireland had advocated and campaigned.
Refundable Tax Credits key to helping the working poor
Making the two main income tax credits refundable would provide Government with an efficient mechanism by which it can address the issue of the working poor. Specific interventions are required to tackle the problem of in-work poverty and Refundable Tax Credits must be a part of the plan.
A Rising Tide Failing to Lift all Boats - European Research Series
‘A Rising Tide Failing to Lift All Boats’ is the latest publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series. This report analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services and taxation. The report also points to key policy proposals and alternatives for discussion. These include the right to sufficient income, meaningful work and access to essential quality services. The policy proposals explore how these areas might be delivered upon in a changing world.
Measuring the socio-economic impact of Government policies
An open and transparent policy evaluation process, with meaningful engagement from all stakeholders, would ensure that we learn from our successes and from our mistakes. Such a process would ensure that we evaluate both and offer a framework to take our policy successes and replicate them across Government. Social Justice Ireland believes strongly in the importance of developing a rights-based approach to social, economic, and cultural policy. A key policy measure to deliver an open and transparent policy evaluation process is to measure the socio-economic impact of each budget. This should be a statutory responsibility for Government.