Poverty Focus 2022 analyses the contribution that increases to welfare payments and supports have made to recent reductions in the headline poverty risk measure.
Poverty Focus - main findings:
- One in every nine people in Ireland lives on an income below the poverty line (11.6% of the population). Based on the most recent Census data, this corresponds to almost 595,000 people.
- Data for the period 2016-2021 demonstrate how the headline poverty rate in Ireland has fallen, driven in particular by increased supports to welfare dependent households.
- Targeted measures that prioritise those households with the least resources and the most needs can yield welcome poverty reductions. However, these anti-poverty interventions need to be sustained; something than has been lacking in recent budgetary policy.
- Social Justice Ireland warmly welcomes progress in reducing Ireland’s overall poverty rate. However, the underlying trends in the income distribution; where there are small nominal increases in welfare alongside more pronounced increases in earnings and reductions in income taxation are likely to widen income divides and push poverty upwards
- The impact of inflation is most severe on lower-income households. Short-term Budgetary measures, while welcome, will increase inequality if income adequacy is not properly addressed.