NEWS: Social Justice Ireland calls for a pay deal that supports the 'common good'
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
The new draft agreement on public sector pay is in danger of favouring the better off over the poor. This is according to Social Justice Ireland (SJI) which has published an assessment of the proposed deal.
“There is always a danger that resources will be allocated to protect the interests of those who are strong, powerful and/or vocal,” says SJI. “Of particular concern at this moment is the need to ensure that all aspects of Ireland’s current multi-faceted crises be addressed in a coherent and integrated manner and to ensure that choices are made on the basis of the common good.”
Issues such as taxation, debt, investment and competitiveness, public services and public expenditure levels and public sector reform should all be addressed in a way that maximises fairness and solidarity. Otherwise there is a real danger that some sectors in Irish society, particularly those who are poor or vulnerable, will be further disadvantaged, as a result of the choices made and the consequent allocation of Ireland’s scarce resources, according to SJI.
The body states that, since taking up office, the current Government has introduced two unjust, regressive and socially divisive budgets. These budgets have disproportionately taken from people on low incomes, and the working poor, compared to the better off. They have not addressed unemployment nor provided a vision or direction for the country.
“The Government’s, and the Troika’s, focus has been disproportionately on reducing the budget deficit. Such reduction is important and required. However, reducing the deficit by creating a fractured society, a weak economy and persistently high unemployment is not a recipe for recovery,” says SJI. “Ireland needs a new approach which prioritises investment, promotes public services, protects vulnerable people and communities and ensures its development is underpinned by an equitable tax system.”
Social Justice Ireland suggests that there should be a fundamental change and a framework for solidarity and recovery which includes:
Public sector reform
Public service Pay
Investment and competitiveness
Public services and public expenditure