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CSO figures highlight Government neglect of Rural Ireland– Carthy

29 January, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Commenting on the latest CSO Annual Survey on Income and Living Conditions Report, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy has said that the figures demonstrate the impact of successive Government’s neglect of rural Ireland.

Carthy said:

“The CSO figures show that, in 2013, the majority of those classed as being at risk of poverty (50.1%) or living in consistent poverty (51.3%) came from rural areas. This is despite the fact that the population of rural Ireland has declined with figures showing that rural dwellers made up 39.5% of the overall population – a decrease from the 2012 figure of 40.6%.

“The report also indicates that the rates of rural dwellers at risk of poverty (19.3%), deprivation (31%) and consistent poverty (10.7%) have increased significantly between 2012 and 2013, while the corresponding figures for urban areas showed a decline.

“The disposable income of those living in rural areas has also decreased from the average of €18,971 in 2012 to €18,653 in 2013 while the disposable income of those living in urban areas increased from €22,078 to €22,357 in the same period.

“Let there be no mistake about it – rural Ireland has been badly let down by successive Governments and these figures highlights the impact of failed Government policy on rural areas.

“The lack of an appropriate level of broadband, the lack of investment in infrastructure, the lack of a coordinated effort to create jobs and protect public services in rural areas has led to a decline in our rural population and the decimation of rural communities.

“While I welcome the small reduction of poverty and deprivation rates in urban areas in recent times, efforts must be made to avoid a two tier economic recovery, which places those living in rural areas at a disadvantage.

“The fact that the study shows that 1.4 million people across the country experience deprivation – an increase of 128% since 2008 – suggests that there is a lot to be done before this Government can claim a recovery for all.”

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