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Income Distribution and Poverty

More than 760,000 people are living in poverty in Ireland, of which over 230,000 are children, despite some small improvements in poverty and deprivation rates.  These are the figures released today by the CSO from the annual Survey on Income and Living Conditions. 

Our SDGs policy briefing Inequality looks at inequality in Ireland, wealth inequality, international inequality and gender inequality all of which are currently issues of concern for many people.  It discusses some key causes of inequality, identifies a range of costs that follow from inequality and concludes with some proposals on how inequality could be reduced.  

With 800,000 people in poverty, record numbers on healthcare waiting lists and more than 3,800 children homeless, Ireland is a profoundly unequal place. Inequality hurts the economy, leading to unstable economic growth and employment, higher debt, housing bubbles and increased homelessness. Substantial evidence has emerged in recent years to support the view that economies and societies perform better across a number of different metrics, from better health to lower crime rates, where there is less inequality.

Some Reflections on Inequality in Ireland’ is part of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Research Series. It reflects on the reality of equality and the myths that enable its persistence.  It looks at inequality in economics and the ideologies in public policy that have produced the present unequal situation across the world. 

In this section of our National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 we look at income distribution patterns, the widening gap of income migration and poverty and propose a number of policy priorities to tackle the causes of these issues.

Social Justice Ireland has partnered with Development Perspectives in support of their #SDGChallenge.  May is the month for SDG8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Last week (12th April 2018), the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government released its Review of Delivery Costs and Viability for Affordable Residential Developments, which enumerated the many reasons why providing affordable homes was difficult.  There are many issues with this report, primarily with the lack of urgency in the Government’s response to this national emergency, however one glaring problem is its viability and affordability model.  It is neither viable nor affordable.

Social Justice Ireland’s annual Socio-Economic Review is entitled Social Justice Matters. This book is about charting a course to a better Ireland. At the foundation of that is how we raise taxes and how much tax we raise.

The consultation on the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2018 to 2021 has been released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with a closing date of 16th March 2018.  This consultation is open to all, organisations and individuals, and while Social Justice Ireland encourages all to participate, we are concerned that the questions are framed in such a way as to allow Government to abdicate their responsibilities to the most vulnerable.

A new study of 11 EU countries shows that Ireland has a significant and increasing gap in deprivation between vulnerable adults and other adults in society. The research, from the Economic and Social Research Institute, (published 31 January 2018), shows there is a significant and widening gap in the rate of persistent deprivation experienced by vulnerable adults, including lone parents and adults with a disability, and the rate experienced by other adults. Of the 11 EU countries studied, Ireland’s gap was the largest and increased the most during the study’s time frame of 2004-2015.

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