1 Feb 2017
Government Must Support One Parent Families Out of Poverty
The Children’s Rights Alliance has responded to the publication today of the 2015 Survey on Income and Living Conditions by the Central Statistics Office.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive said today that: “Poverty is a blight on childhood and prevents children from reaching their full potential. We’ve heard stories through our own work of children stealing food because they are going hungry or not having a warm coat in winter weather. That is an outrage in Ireland of 2017.
Today’s figures show a slight improvement to the rates of consistent poverty for two-parent families in 2015 with a rate of 7.7% down from 8.9% in 2014. For one parent families, the rate of consistent poverty has increased to 26.2 % in 2015 from 25% in 2014. This means that a staggering one in four one-parent families experience basic deprivation, as compared with 8.7% of the entire population. That equates to going without a square meal every other day and not always having enough money to heat the home.
In general, today’s figures show that we are moving in the right direction. The upturn in the economy, coupled with reductions in the unemployment rate and increases in job creation, are being reflected in the modest improvements to child poverty figures. We are also seeing the benefits of developments over the last few years to support families, such as the small monthly reinstatements in the Child Benefit payment and the free pre-school year. But many families including one-parent families are struggling to survive with rising rent, utility bills, personal debt, homelessness and food poverty. Children living in direct provision, Traveller and homeless children are also at particular risk of poverty – though not reflected in these figures.
As we continue to emerge from recession, we must urgently increase the speed of our national response on child poverty. We will continue to support the Government in its ambitious plan to lift 97,000 children out of poverty by 2020 through its national policy framework Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. Child poverty should also be a key focus of Brexit negotiations to ensure that new swaths of families are not plunged further into poverty.”
For further information, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager
01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067
Note for Editors
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive is available for interview