Human trafficking a crime 'hidden in plain sight'

A Dublin Film Festival marked EU Anti-Trafficking Day with two films and a discussion at Liberty Hall Theatre yesterday evening. By Alison Spillane.

Speaking at the film presentation was Nick Kinsella, head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTU). He said that human trafficking is an international phenomenon but "very much a local crime". He highlighted the need for co-operation between the various agencies involved in combating trafficking, adding that that co-operation was needed at both domestic and international levels.

SJI budget aims to correct inequalities

An alternative budget for 2011, launched on Monday by Social Justice Ireland (SJI), tackles the contentious issues of pensions, third level fees and corporation tax in search of a fair budget. Details of Budget 2011 will be announced on 7 December by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. By Alison Spillane.

SJI director Fr Seán Healy said that the government "savaged" poor people in the last three budgets and left the rich untouched.

Alternative budget targets corporate tax and college fees

Ireland's corporate sector has yet to make a contribution to the recovery, a seminar heard today. By Alison Spillane.

Speaking at the launch of Social Justice Ireland's alternative budget, SJI director Fr Séan Healy called for the introduction of a 2.5% levy on profits from the corporate sector on top of the existing corporation tax (12.5%). This would provide an estimated €632 million for the exchequer, according to the SJI's fully-costed budget.

Unions protest government spending cuts

An estimated 1,500 people protested outside Leinster House today against planned Government spending cuts. The march, organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), was supported by the Labour Party, Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, the Socialist Party, and the Right to Work campaign among others. By Alison Spillane.

Tackling the root causes of crime

A policy document launched on Thursday by the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), Barnardos, and IAYPIC (Irish Association of Young People in Care) called on the government to shift its focus in tackling crime from investment in the prison system to prevention and early intervention strategies which would make more economic and social sense. By Alison Spillane.

Welfare State faces difficult future

It may take the country three to five budgets to “get back to normal”, a Green Party Senator said yesterday. In the meantime, the welfare state faces serious challenges.

Financial turmoil and economic slowdown will continue to exert a great deal of pressure on public social expenditures, a conference heard yesterday. In his presentation on the future of the welfare state, Prof. Tony Fahey of UCD also cited long-term factors such as an ageing population and high levels of unemployment as difficulties facing the welfare state.