Government must invest more in public services in face of national emergency: Social Justice Ireland

Government must invest more in public services in face of national emergency: Social Justice Ireland

Social Justice Ireland is calling for stronger Government action on housing, healthcare, education, rural development and other social issues.

In its latest social monitor, the organisation highlights growing pressure on public services, compounded by major infrastructure deficits and a lack of public investment.

Director of Social Justice Ireland, Dr Seán Healy, said the Government had failed to respond adequately to the crisis.

Dr Seán Healy
Dr Seán Healy

“The Government has failed to respond to our nation’s housing crisis," said Dr Healy.

"Mortgage arrears are again increasing, there are almost 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists, and 10,000 homeless. This is a national emergency.

"Of those 10,000 homeless, 3,600 are children. Over half of the 87,000 households on the social housing waiting lists are families.

The impact of homelessness and precarious housing on our nation’s children will be felt for generations to come. This is both unacceptable and unnecessary at a time when resources are available to make a real impact on the housing crisis.

The organisation is calling for Government intervensions to tackle mortgage arrears.

"Mortgage arrears increased in the first quarter of this year," said Colette Bennett, research and policy analyst with Social Justice Ireland.

"The majority of the €2.9 billion arrears is owed by households in late-stage mortgage arrears.

"With further loan sales to vulture funds recently, Government needs to intervene to ensure that mortgage lenders are encouraged to offer a full suite of options, including Mortgage to Rent, and that local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies are properly resourced to support these offers."

Other issues highlighted in the monitor include the need to combat social isolation in rural communities; the rising number of people underemployed; the widening gap in income distribution; and the need to increase Ireland’s tax take to resource the necessary investment.

Read the monitor in full here:

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