The number of people living in poverty in Ireland has increased by more than 100,000 since the onset of the recession – meaning that 750,000 people in Ireland currently live in poverty. 57% of those were students, retired persons, people in caring roles or people who are ill or people suffering from a disability.
1. 18% of adults living in poverty are employed – which it called ‘the working poor’
2. The top 10% of households receives 24% of Ireland’s total disposable income while the bottom 10% of households only receives 3%
3. Almost one in five children live in households with incomes below the poverty line.
4. Most weekly social assistance rates paid to single people are €30 below the poverty line.
According to the National Anti-Poverty Strategy: “People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living that is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally.” SJI says that most European studies, including those carried out by the CSO, the poverty line is “at 60% of median income, adjusted to take account of family size and composition”. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the median disposable income per adult in Ireland during 2014 was €18,210 per annum or €349.98 per week. This would mean that, based on the 2014 figure above, the 60% of median income poverty line for a single adult was €209.39 per week. When the figures are updated to 2016 levels, using published CSO data on the change in average earnings in 2015 (+2.1%) and ESRI projections for 2016 (+2.0%) produces a relative income poverty line of €218.06 for a single person.