Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Irish Poverty

More than 790,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 250,000 are children, despite some small improvements in poverty and deprivation rates, according to Social Justice Ireland. There are approximately 70,000 more children living in poverty since 2008.

 16.5% of the population were at risk of poverty, while the consistent poverty rate was 8.3%.

105,000 "working poor" are in employment while living in poverty.

The CEO of Social Justice Ireland,   Dr. Se├ín Healy said, "These figures are unacceptable in a rich, developed country like Ireland” He said those labelled as 'at risk of poverty' actually had incomes below the poverty line. Dr Healy said without social welfare payments the poverty figure would rise to 44.9%.

The latest CSO data confirms the charity's experience that hundreds of thousands of low income households continue to be unable to afford essentials like food, adequate housing and heating. Deprivation rates demonstrated "that employment doesn't always guarantee a decent standard of living".

Households are considered to be living in deprivation if they are deprived of two or more of eleven basic deprivation indicators like heating, being able to afford new rather than second-hand clothes or a warm, waterproof coat.  One in five people in Ireland were unable to replace worn-out furniture last year while 15% of the population could not afford a night out every two weeks.

Barnardos has said the child poverty rates are "distressing".
“Yet again we see shockingly little progress on tackling child poverty in Ireland. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world it is a stain on our prosperity that almost 139,000 children are living in consistent poverty," said Head of Advocacy June Tinsley. She raised doubts over the Government's commitment to lift 100,00 children out of poverty by 2020. "Poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life, their health, their wellbeing, their education and their future. Poverty cannot be viewed in isolation - families and children stuck in a poverty trap are more likely to be victims of the homelessness crisis as they cannot afford rapidly rising rents," she said.
“It is extremely worrying that 1 in 4 one parent families are living in consistent poverty. It is clear that a more integrated approach which tackles the issues of low income, inadequate service provision particularly in areas of childcare and housing is urgently needed," said the charity's Head of Social Justice Dr Tricia Keilthy.

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