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Policy issues concerning Income Distribution and Poverty

There are 698,000 people still in poverty in Ireland. Even though the poverty line has fallen by 16% since 2008, nearly one in seven people in Ireland are in poverty. Over 211,000 of these are children.

  • 16 per cent of adults living in poverty are employed – these are the working poor.
  • Numbers living in poverty have increased by 120,000 since beginning of the recession.
  • 756,591 people are living in poverty in Ireland according to the latest CSO statistics published today..
  • Even though the poverty line fell by 15% since 2008, the proportion of Ireland's population below this lower poverty line has risen by 15% during the same period.

Latest statistics show poorest 10% of population lost 18.4% of real disposable income compared to 11.4% loss among the richest 10&% since the crash of 2008.

Situation worse if cuts in services and increased charges are included in calculations.

The gap between low and middle-income Ireland on the one hand and the rich on the other hand has widened dramatically.

The increase in the proportion of Ireland’s population at risk of poverty, (from 14.7% to 16.0% in one year) clearly identifies a major policy failure by Government which has imposed a disproportionate part of the ‘hit’ for current budgetary adjustments on Ireland’s poor and vulnerable people. 

  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.

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 Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice and MABS National Development Ltd. have launched a Minimum Income Standard calculator for Irish households. This tool will allow households to calculate the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living. 

The number of people at risk of poverty in Ireland has grown from 14.1% in 2009 to 15.8% in 2010 according to the latest Survey on Income and Living Condidtions (SILC) conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

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