Thursday, December 12, 2013

The "luck" of the Irish

In Ireland, without social welfare, 50.7 per cent of the population would be at risk of poverty.

The number of people earning less than €11,000 a year grew in 2011. This figure is significant: it is 60 per cent of the median income, and it is used to measure the number of people who are at risk of poverty in Ireland. Ireland’s figure grew from 14.7 per cent to 16 per cent in just one year, which works out at 733,000 people according to Social Justice Ireland. This means almost three quarters of a million people are living very close to the breadline.

In 2008, Ireland’s consistent poverty rate was 4.2 per cent. In 2011, it was 6.9 per cent. The figure has risen every year since the recession began.

One quarter of people in Ireland don’t have the money to afford at least two goods and services which are generally considered the norm for other people in society, putting them into the category of deprived. The figure has almost doubled in just five years after hitting a low of just 11.8 per cent in 2007.  The acknowledged definition of deprivation means that someone can’t afford basics such as being able to heat their home, buy presents for family or friends, have a warm coat or buy meat. One in five people said they didn’t have the money to replace worn-out furniture. The same amount of people were unable to afford a morning or evening out, while one in eight people were unable to afford heating at some stage in the past year.

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