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No-one knows where the jobs market is going
Employment is a tentpole for society. Working keeps people well, produces stuff we need, and gives people money to pay their bills and live a life. However, we have no idea what the jobs market will look like in the near future.
Will we fail once more on mental health?
A new report from the Audit Office says Northern Ireland’s ten-year mental health strategy risks failure due to a lack of financial support.
Social security is inadequate – what will government do about it?
The Cliff Edge Coalition NI relaunched its campaign last week. A lot has changed since 2018, almost none of it good, and the cliff edge faced by much of society has grown much higher.
Could the cost-of-living crisis be even bigger than we thought? See for yourself
New ONS analysis shows where inflation is really pressurising household budgets. Some basics are up by over 40%. Meanwhile a new online tool will let you check how inflation is affecting you and your family, specifically.
If you want to protect the union, get back to Stormont
As most people celebrate the Good Friday Agreement, hardline unionist politicians have their heads in the sand – to the detriment of Northern Ireland, and also themselves.
We need to talk about wealth inequality – not just now, but always
Distribution of wealth should a headline talking point of economic discourse, alongside GDP, employment levels and inflation.
Poverty has many faces
New research reaffirms an old oddity – Northern Ireland has the lowest rate of poverty of any UK region. However, that’s not the whole story.
Are we comfortable with continuing to fail children with SEN?
For years, mental health provision was described as Northern Ireland’s ‘Cinderella Service’. What words would best describe services for special educational needs?
The growing role of charities in society must be embraced
A huge new report, years in the making, says that the community and voluntary sector’s increasing importance needs to be fully embraced. The private, public and third sectors all need to work together to build the best-possible future.
Tough times can bring out the best in people
Two new pieces of research lay out two sides of the cost-of-living crisis: poor mental health, and communities rising to meet the problems we all face.
Data is growing. How it grows is up to us.
Does big data provide an opportunity to improve the world? Can our personal info be used for nefarious ends? The answer to both is yes, potentially. Everyone should have an educated say in how we, as a society, use data.
Immigration: time for a calm, rational debate
One of the most toxic debates of recent times is that around immigration. It was a central issue in the Brexit referendum. And it still rages today. It is time for a calmer, informed, honest discussion governed by facts.
Childcare needs support, and right now – for everyone’s benefit
For too long, childcare in Northern Ireland has been treated as an afterthought. As inflation hits its highest rate for over four decades, the pressure on both providers and parents is coming to a head.
Tackling poverty will require long-term planning as well as emergency measures
A group of organisations helping the Department for Communities draw up an anti-poverty strategy released a report this week. Could it form the basis for an ambitious, long-term strategy to minimise or even eliminate poverty in NI?