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National Economic and Social Council

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 30 November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Questions (22)

Cian O'Callaghan


22. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the work of the National Economic and Social Council. [57674/21]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) advises me on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Ireland.

The NESC work programme includes work in five areas:

1. Shared Island: NESC is undertaking a programme of research covering a range of issues, including economy, regional development, poverty, mental health, climate, biodiversity and well-being. It will produce a comprehensive report on the Shared Island in Q1 2022.

This research is part of a comprehensive research programme on Shared Island matters, involving the NESC, as well as the ESRI, the Irish Research Council and other partners.

2. Climate and Biodiversity: NESC is providing advice in relation to just transition, including case studies and work on developing indicators. It is also beginning a significant piece of research and consultation on climate, biodiversity and transition in agriculture.

3. Housing: NESC research has helped build consensus on the need for change in our housing system. In 2022, it will further consider practical aspects of a more pro-active land management system. It will also continue to examine housing systems that achieve affordability, inclusion and sustainability, drawing on aspects of the Irish system, including initial cost rental projects, and international experience.

4. Ireland’s Well-Being Framework: In 2021, NESC carried out a consultation with a range of stakeholders and experts. In the coming year its work will examine the implementation of well-being frameworks, looking at international work and drawing on selected Irish work in such areas as performance and equality budgeting, and sectoral approaches in certain areas such as children’s well-being. It will also look at how specific groups within society experience inequality.

5. Recovery and Resilience: This work will examine aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic to help identify strategic lessons about public governance and how government can be supported to arrange and manage its activity to deliver the best results for society.

The Council has so far published five reports in 2021:

·Grounding the Recovery in Sustainable Development: A Statement from the Council (NESC Report No. 152)

·Shared Island: Projects, Progress & Policy Scoping Paper (NESC Report No. 153)

·Digital Inclusion in Ireland: Connectivity, Devices & Skills (NESC Report No. 154)

·Ireland’s Well-Being Framework: Consultation Report (NESC Report No. 155)

·Collaboration on Climate and Biodiversity: Shared Island as a Catalyst for Renewed Ambition & Action (NESC Report No.156)

As reports are finalised in the relevant areas they are brought to Government for approval in advance of publication.

Questions Nos. 23 and 24 resubmitted.