Social Justice Ireland: Govt could raise money for social housing through 'structural reform clause'

Social Justice Ireland: Govt could raise money for social housing through 'structural reform clause'

Social Justice Ireland say that the Government could raise money for social housing using an EU rule.

The group said the Government could invoking a "structural reform clause" in the fiscal rules of the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact to raise the money for the initiatives in Budget 2017.

Dr Seán Healy, of Social Justice Ireland, said: "This clause allows Government’s to cater for the short-term costs of implementing structural reforms that will have long-term positive budgetary effects.

"While additional ‘off-the-books’ financing would still be required, this clause would allow for substantial additional ‘on-the-books’ financing to be available to address one of the biggest scandals of Ireland’s current reality - the lack of appropriate accommodation for more than 90,000 low-income households."

The group said that the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had already said that "existing flexibility" within the rules could be used to make room for the cost of needed structural reforms.

Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland said: "Investment in social housing will yield significant returns in terms of both employment and productivity, and will also address one of the largest infrastructural deficits in Ireland today.

If Ireland is to have strong long-term macroeconomic stability and a vibrant economy then a substantial increase in the level of public investment is required."

"Government must take responsibility to explore every avenue towards resolving Ireland’s social housing crisis. It is imperative that the structural reform clause be explored to increase finance available in Budget 2017."


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