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The Future of the Irish Social Welfare System


The Future of the Irish Social Welfare System    Conference Video


Online event, Friday 30th April 2021

Many countries are reviewing their welfare systems in light of the challenges of the 21st century.  In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on the important role of social welfare systems, especially at a time of national crisis.

Reflecting these concerns the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a report on The Future of the Irish Social Welfare System: Participation and Protection.

The report puts forward proposals in four areas:

  • Ensuring income adequacy and alleviating poverty;
  • Modernising family supports to reflect gender and care needs;
  • Supporting high participation in the labour market, and in society; and
  • Enhancing the financial sustainability of the welfare system.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss the findings of the NESC welfare report and the future of social welfare systems, more generally.  The conference will hear from international experts, as well as those tasked with delivery of the current social welfare system in Ireland and representatives of those impacted by it.  The conference will provide a forum for hearing and discussing new ideas, reform proposals, drawing on academic, policy and lived experience.  It will be of interest to policy makers, service deliverers, community and voluntary organisations, academics and interested individuals.

Some of the key questions to be addressed in the conference include:

  • How are western societies reforming their welfare systems in the context of the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century?
  • How can we ensure the social welfare system keeps people out of poverty?
  • How to ensure a comprehensive system of social supports through both income supports and social services?
  • How can we move towards a more individualised system of welfare?
  • How can we ensure care is a feature of the welfare system?
  • How can the social welfare system best support people’s participation in the labour market and in society?
  • What approaches are required to ensure adequate pensions for an ageing population?

How to finance the welfare system of the future?

Download the Welfare Conference Programme

Presentations given:

Ms Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands (opening speech)
Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary-General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA)
Anne-Marie McGauran, Policy Analyst, NESC
Mary Daly, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Oxford

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