Budget Submission 2016

This submission recommends ways of broadening the tax base and using the limited financial resources in a way that focuses on long term sustainability, whilst creating employment and stimulating the economy in the short term. Broadening the tax base can also reduce the complexity of the tax system, compliance costs and the costs of tax collection.
In making this submission we urge the Government to realise that Ireland actually faces three major and interlinked crises, firstly environmental, secondly social and thirdly economic. Whilst it is clear that the consequences of a very serious economic crisis are still very much with us, with sadly many thousands of people still unemployed, the consequences of rapid climate change and general environmental degradation are likely to be far worse, and without better decision-making now, major long term social, economic and environmental costs will be incurred.
Our economy needs to focus strongly on creating resilience to the outside forces of global change. In this context our government structures must support sustainable management of our natural resources to strengthen food and energy security, to decarbonise our energy systems, to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to ensure ‘eco-system services’ that provide public benefit are not further degraded. In fulfilling this requirement jobs will be created, imports reduced, energy saved, and the economy strengthened for both the long and short term.
Economic policy tends to focus on maximizing economic growth regardless of the effects on our ecological assets and human health and well-being. Ireland needs to protect its ecological assets which are at the core of our long-term wealth and well-being.
Greening the entire economy will be a driver for competitiveness, security of supply, including energy independence, and for sustainable employment.
It is the position of the Environmental Pillar that as decisions are made by government on the provisions for the Budget each decision must take into account the issues of sustainability and the full implementation of “Our Sustainable Future” a Framework for Sustainable Development for Ireland.
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