16/04/2014 – CSO figures published today show that 1.2 million people now experience deprivation, twice the pre-recession figure. “Nice words about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ are not enough. We need a concerted plan to address poverty as part of our plan for recovery.”
Today’s figures (for 2012) show:
- Well over a quarter of the population (27% or 1.2 million people) was affected by deprivation(doubled since 2008 and up from 24.5% in 2011)[i], that is not being able to afford two of a list of 11 very basic items
- 13% of people could not heat their homes adequately[ii]
- A third of children were living in deprivation[iii]
- Two and a half times as many people at work werein deprivation compared to 2008
- Lone parents, people not at work through illness or disability, and unemployed people were hardest hit[v]
- the numbers of people at risk of poverty (living on less than 60% of median income) has risen back to pre-recession levels. Despite the fact that the income threshold itself has dropped by nearly 15% since 2008 to €10,621, there are now 96,000 more people falling below this lower mark, i.e. a total of 756,000 people in 2012
Robin Hanan, Director of the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland, commenting on these figures said:
“These figures confirm what our members are telling us from their experience on the ground.
“A series of policies and cuts have made life harder for people on low incomes, making it more difficult to move into reasonably paid work.
“While the report shows that social transfers are playing a big role in reducing poverty levels, it is important to protect these and for Government not to continue to chip away at supports for the most vulnerable people on the lowest incomes.
“These figures are shocking but not surprising. Nice words about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ are not enough. We need a concerted plan to address poverty as part of our plan for recovery.
“It has been Government policy for years to ‘poverty proof’ all policies, to make sure that they either reduce or at least don’t increase poverty. In practice, this has not been applied to most of the policies which affect the day to day lives of people living with poverty, such as the Budget, the Finance Bill and employment strategies.
“We have the figures, we have the targets, now the Government, and the country, need to get serious about fighting poverty.”
The European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland is a coalition of over 350 organisations and individuals working against poverty in Ireland.
Today’s release by the CSO of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) is available at http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/silc/2012/silc_2012.pdf
[i] Page 1 of the CSO Statistical Release at http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/silc/2012/silc_2012.pdf
[ii] Page 20 of the same Release
[iii] Page 16 of the same Release
[iv] Page 16 of the same Release
[v] Page 16 of the same Release