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Policy issues concerning Children

Homelessness influences every facet of a child’s life from conception to young adulthood and the experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioural development of children.

On the centenary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann, it is time to reflect on the commitment made by the Irish Government to the children of Ireland.

Social Justice Ireland strongly welcomes Minister Regina Doherty’s comments this week, saying she believes in the universality of child benefit payments. Child benefit is an important acknowledgement of the fact that raising children is an economically and socially necessary job.

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society.  Over 213,000 children in Ireland are at risk of poverty and over 414,000 of all children in Ireland are experiencing deprivation.  A further very concerning trend that has emerged in Ireland is the significant increase in the number of young people aged 18-24 who are at risk of poverty.  Since 2008 this figure has increased by 13 percentage points.

A new study shows that multiples of the national minimum wage are required if many households with children are to afford the full cost of formal childcare and simultaneously provide a Minimum Essential Standard of Living,.

Tackling poverty and income inequality effectively is a multifaceted task. It requires action on many fronts, ranging from healthcare and education to accommodation and employment. However, the most important requirement in tackling poverty is the provision of sufficient income to enable people to live life with dignity.  This forms a core element of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland.

  1. The Government’s new child poverty target could be reached while child poverty continues to grow!
  2. No target set to reduce the numbers of ‘working poor’ - means major group continues to be ignored in practice.
  • Children should not have to pay for gambling losses of bankers and developers
  • Ireland can balance its budget without victimising children
  • IMF urged to propose fair and just solutions to Ireland’s problems

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