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Government needs to get real when it comes to tackling poverty – Brady

5 July, 2016 - by John Brady TD

Speaking in response to the Social Justice Ireland briefing published today, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection, John Brady TD has called on the Government to take action on tackling poverty and deprivation.

Deputy Brady said:

“The reality of poverty in Ireland today cannot be highlighted enough. There are more than 750,000 people living in poverty with 230,000 of these children. That means that almost one in every five children is living in poverty.

“Those living in poverty are not simply the unemployed relying on job creation. 18% of adults living in poverty are employed, they are workers and they are not earning enough to live on. They are the working poor.

“Behind these figures are Irish citizens who are struggling on a daily basis, elderly people cold in their own homes, children going to school hungry, and families making choices between buying food or turning on the heating.

“The statistics are shocking and they are a damning indictment of the Government’s priorities in recent years.

“The high levels of poverty being experienced are a direct consequence of the problem of income inequality in Ireland.

“Overall, the share of Ireland’s total disposable income going to the top 10% is more than 8 times the share going to the bottom 10%.  

“CSO figures show that the richest 10% of households received 24% of the total disposable income while the poorest 10% of households received just 3%.

“This Government needs to get real when it comes to tackling poverty in Ireland. A fast growing economy and the so-called recovery is doing nothing for the 750,000 Irish citizens living in poverty.

“This Government must make eradicating poverty a policy priority. The Government must eliminate poverty among people depending on social welfare particularly, lone parents. We need the introduction of a Living Wage to ensure that workers receive an adequate wage and can afford a decent standard of living. The Government needs to look at and move to implement measures being put forward by organisations such as Social Justice Ireland.” 

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