Press Release: Poverty figures show need for 5 year plan against poverty

Press release from EAPN Ireland re poverty figures for 2013 released today

As the CSO shows that deprivation rates have trebled since 2008, from a tenth to nearly a third of the population, it’s time for a concerted five-year strategy to end poverty

The European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland today called on the Government and the opposition parties to commit to a concerted and well funded programme to end poverty in Ireland. 

Reacting to the new CSO poverty figures for 2013, Director Robin Hanan said:

“These figures show how people on low incomes have been pushed beyond the limit of endurance

“Ending poverty involves building an adequate and accessible welfare system, strengthening protection for quality work, job creation and investment in public services like childcare, health, housing, education and transport.  It also involves listening to people in poverty themselves and empowering their organisations to promote solutions.

“Developing a five-year strategy to end poverty is complex, but two decades after the adoption of the first National Anti Poverty Strategy, we know most of what needs to be done. What we now need urgently is the political commitment and a concerted programme of investment to make it happen.

“We have a window of opportunity with the beginning of economic recovery and the return to fiscal independence.  Ireland needs to grasp this opportunity with an ambitious action plan to replace the more  aspirational and outdated National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (2007-2016).  

“We cannot simply sit back and watch another generation trapped and slipping further into poverty and deprivation.”

Today’s figures show, in relation to 2013:

    • 1.4 million people, almost 31% of the population, suffer from deprivation, not able to afford two from a list of 11 very basic items (up from 14% in 2008)
    • A quarter of the population cannot afford to heat their home adequately,( up from a tenth in 2008)
    • 37% of children suffer deprivation (up from 18% in 2008)
    • The worst deprivation is felt by lone parents (63%, nearly doubled since 2008), the unemployed (55%, up from 37%) and people not at work through illness or disability (53% up from 36%)
    • The numbers at risk of poverty, i.e. below 60% of median income, have fallen slightly, though still above the 2008 levels, but this threshold has gone down from €12,409 in2008 to €10,425 in 2013, or just under €200 per week
  • The number experiencing ‘consistent poverty’, i.e. those below the at-risk of poverty line who experience deprivation, has doubled since 2008 to 8.2% and the Government will need to remove nearly 193,000 people from poverty and halve the current number to meet its target of 4% for 2016.


These figures are detailed in the table below

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