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Government failing in commitment to reduce child poverty – Brady

13 June, 2016 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, John Brady TD, has today been responding to the news that the Government’s commitment to reduce child poverty is already failing in its first two years. This comes as the Department of Social Protection has had to revise the target upwards from removing 70,000 children out of poverty to 97,000.

Deputy Brady said:

“The rise in poverty levels in recent years is startling and while, the economy may be growing, so too is poverty.  This is another indicator of the impact economic policies have had on the vulnerable sectors of our society.  We are in a deeply unequal recovery with sectors of our society left behind by the effects of these policies.

“The fact that the Department have had to revise the target upwards by 35% shows the clear indifference on the part of the Government to tackle this issue. And indeed, has been the true hallmark of Fine Gael in Government in talking the talk and delivering nothing.

“CSO figures show that 230,000 children are living in poverty, this is up 12,000 in a single year despite the economic recovery. This reality alone should make eradicating child poverty a priority for the new Government.

“Sinn Féin has recently put forward an equality proofing bill which is designed to reduce inequality in government policy implementation.  We also want to see the reversal of cuts to the lone parent allowance which is in line with CSO figures showing that children most at risk of poverty are those from lone parent families. This was a heartless cut taken by the Fine Gael and Labour government which without doubt, contributed to increased child poverty levels.

“Poverty should never be acceptable and it could be eliminated here in a number of years if the Government made it a policy priority.”

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