Monday, July 16, 2012

Ireland - the land of inequality

The gap between the rich and poor in Ireland is widening, a thinktank has warned. Social Justice Ireland said the disposable income -- the money a person has after tax -- fell by 18.6% over a year for the least well-off households. By comparison, the group claimed it rose by 4.1% for the most well-off. Social Justice Ireland calculated that the top 10% of the population received almost 14 times more disposable income than the poorest 10%.

Wages have fallen since 2009 and are projected to remain static for 2012, while taxes have risen and some social welfare rates have been cut.

In 2010 the poorest category of households had a disposable income of €174.24 a week (€8,928 a year) while the richest had €2,369.53 a week (€123,547 a year).

The policy briefing points out that more than 700,000 people are at risk of poverty with an income equivalent of under €207.94 a week for a single person or €482.41 a week for a household of four. More than 200,000 children in Ireland are also living in poverty.

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