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Government lessens its commitment to reducing poverty - Revised Poverty Target in NRP 2012

The Government has just published the National Reform Programme 2012 Update for Ireland which contains, amongst other information a revised poverty target under Ireland’s commitments to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The revised poverty target is to reduce the numbers experiencing consistent poverty to 4% by 2016 and to 2% or less by 2020 from a 2010 baseline rate of 6.2%. This is in contrast to the Government’s previously stated commitment to reduce the number of people experiencing consistent poverty to between 2-4% by 2012, with the aim of eliminating consistent poverty by 2016. 

National Reform Programme 2012 Update for Ireland can be downloaded below

The latest Update in Ireland’s Stability Programme can be downloaded below

The number of people in consistent poverty rose from 4.2% in 2008 to 6.2% in 2010, and is likely to continue to rise. Social Justice Ireland finds the revised target unacceptable. It highlights the Government’s lessening commitment to reducing poverty as well as their failure to protect those who are vulnerable in Irish society in these difficult times. 
The latest update of the Government’s Stability Programme shows that they plan a further €8.6 billion of ‘consolidation’ in the next three budgets.  The proposed spilt between expenditure cuts and tax increases over that period is €5.55 billion compared to €3.05 billion. The ratio should be reversed with €2 in tax increases for every €1 in expenditure cuts. Otherwise Government policy will simply continue worsening the situation of those who are vulnerable.