Filter by a topic of your interest
Why our social security system is not fit for purpose
Our economy faces a period of unprecedented change over the next decade as we grapple with the implications of the Covid-19 epidemic, Brexit, decarbonisation and rapid technological transformation.
Not all inflation is bad. Current inflation is terrible.
Inflation is complicated and its effect on people is dependent on several other factors. UK inflation has risen to 5.4% but it’s the specific price rises behind this figure that are extremely concerning.
Why early education is an investment, not a cost
When the Fair Start report into educational disadvantage was published last year it was widely praised. The then education minister Peter Weir described it as: "One of the most important reports I have overseen in my time".
We all have a part to play in reducing violence against women
Northern Ireland is the most dangerous place in Europe to be a woman. That has to change. Everyone – including all men – has a role in creating a safer society.
Portugal, Scotland and the case for decriminalising drug use
Would substance abuse be less of a problem if the police were less involved? This is a complicated question but evidence suggests that Northern Ireland could do better.
If you want a resolution for 2022, try something green
Climate change and ecological breakdown require collective solutions but that doesn’t mean individuals can’t help - and, in doing so, help themselves too.
Homelessness is many different problems
Housing stress in Northern Ireland is on the rise. This will lead to more and more people being homeless. There is no single fix – easing this problem requires several different approaches.
What would happen if we abandoned academic selection?
A new UU report looks at education north and south of the border. In any such comparison, it’s hard not to focus on the transfer tests.
Welfare mitigations need a significant impact despite tight finances
The Communities Minister has commissioned an independent review of welfare mitigations. Writing for Scope, review Chair Les Allamby says the challenge for the panel’s is to come up with proposals that are both realistic and meaningful.
Human rights in NI have stalled – while their foundation is under question
The latest Annual Statement from the NI Human Rights Commission identifies more concerns than successes. Meanwhile, on top of a series of blockages, Northern Ireland’s effective framework for human rights is itself feeling pressure.
Stormont opts out of collating schools’ records of bullying
Data is crucial to policy, but NI’s government has chosen not to collect and compare information on bullying recorded by schools. This might be for the best.
Stormont has more power than you think
The NI Fiscal Council released its first reports last week, one of which is a primer on local public finances. It’s useful simply as a guide to how Northern Ireland works. And, if you look closely, you see how important Stormont is.
Schools should look forwards, not back
These days, Northern Ireland’s schools system is arguably more segregated than the society it serves. This has to change.
It’s not to late to fix childcare in Northern Ireland
The local childcare system fails both parents and providers, with financial pressures approaching breaking point. These failures also hurt the economy. However, there is still time to build something better.