Government guilty of empty promises in tackling poverty - Crowe
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs Seán Crowe TD today called on the Government to act immediately to honour it’s promise of significantly reducing poverty, made in the Government’s Programme for government. He was speaking following media reports that the CSO had said consistent poverty is unlikely to be lowered much further.
The Dublin South-West TD said: “This Government has presided over this state, uninterrupted, for nearly a decade now, a period in which we have witnessed unprecedented economic growth and subsequent bulging state coffers. However it is a stark indictment of the government with that 7% of the population, nearly 300,000 people, are ranked as living in consistent poverty.
“The suggestion from the CSO that this form of poverty, the most extreme inflicted on Irish people, may be impossible to reduce below four or five percent is defeatist nonsense. It is little more than a recitation of the old mantra that, ‘the poor will always be with us’, that has allowed governments around the world to wash its hands of tackling poverty and deprivation.
“Outside the offices of the CSO and their poverty statistics are real people, who in a rich country are struggling to adequately feed and clothe their children, to send them to school and to essentially survive on tight budgets. We live in a society with inadequate and inflexible social welfare rates and payments and a plethora of low income employment. The Government has the money to eradicate poverty, if not the will.
“With the PDs professing that inequality is actually healthy for society, it is no wonder that poverty levels are as high as they are. The Government continue to neglect the provision of adequate social protections which has lead to the increased social and economics marginalisation of those suffering from poverty.”