A Poverty Briefing published today by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland has highlighted that if the Government wants to tackle the high levels of poverty in Ireland it needs to take action at the highest level and across all Government departments.
The EAPN Ireland Poverty Briefing 2018 and proposals for a new Anti-Poverty Strategy comes days after the Government launched its public consultation to develop a new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2018-2021.
Poverty Briefing 2018 highlights that despite some recent progress the Government is failing in its commitments to tackle poverty, with some groups in society at particular risk. There are currently 394,900 people in consistent poverty in Ireland, including around 141,700 children.
The Briefing spells out many of the specific issues which impact directly on the lives of people. These relate to inadequate income, lack of access to a range of core services such as health, housing and literacy, numeracy and childcare and the need for quality employment for those who can work. Finally it outlines a range of proposals which an all Government strategy needs to implement if it to be serious in tackling the causes of poverty. The proposals are for:
• A comprehensive and ambitious strategy
• A strategy for a decent income
• A strategy for quality jobs
• A strategy for quality services
• A strategy to end homelessness and ensure housing for all
• A strategy based on human rights, dignity and equality
• A strategy which we can afford
Paul Ginnell, the Director of EAPN Ireland stated that “The last social inclusion plan completely failed as the commitment to make it a priority from the top of Government wasn’t there. This time the Government must be serious and the new plan ambitious in its goals and implementation if we are ever to have any chance of eradicating poverty and its causes from our society”