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CSO figures reveal over a million people suffered enforced deprivation - Reilly

22 January, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has spoken out in the Seanad today on yesterday’s Central Statistics Office survey on income and living conditions.

Senator Reilly said:

“Yesterday’s survey by the CSO revealed that more than a million people suffered enforced deprivation in 2013, more than double the rate prior to the economic crash.

“It is an issue which I raised with Minister of State Simon Harris during the Finance Bill late last year. I reminded him that behind all the statistics and announcements of growth and job creation is a grim reality which does not feature much in the discourse of this House or in the Dáil.

“Recent EU Commission data shows that Ireland has much higher levels of deprivation than most other comparable EU countries. At present, material deprivation in Ireland is 58% higher than the EU-15 average; a quarter of the population in Ireland lives in material deprivation; and one in ten people live in severe material deprivation.

“Couple this report with the report of the ESRI late last year, that those on the lowest incomes were found to have lost the greatest amount of household income as a result of Budget 2015, we see a terrible picture emerging. The ESRI stated that Budget 2015 will have its greatest impact – a reduction of 1 per cent in net household income – on the 10 per cent of households with lowest incomes. While the top 10% of earners will see their income increase by around 0.5% thanks to Budget 2015, the bottom 10% are the biggest losers, likely to lose around 1% of income this year.”

“Indeed, while poverty and deprivation are mentioned in this house when a report is produced, it is quickly forgotten once the headlines die down. Furthermore, it is impossible for us to enhance growth in our potential if we are burdened with deprivation levels. We need to prevent the growth of this two tier economy any further.”

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