PRESS RELEASE: Children’s Rights Alliance emphasises need for Child Poverty Unit in response to new figures showing a quarter of a million children experiencing enforced deprivation

Published date: 
23 Nov 2022

Press Release

Children’s Rights Alliance emphasises need for Child Poverty Unit in response to new figures showing a quarter of a million children experiencing enforced deprivation


Responding to the SILC poverty statistics released today, Children’s Rights Alliance Chief Executive Tanya Ward says:

The updated figures released by the CSO are a vital window into the difficulties children and families are facing day to day. Unfortunately, it is clear that the situation is getting worse for some of the most vulnerable in our society. One in every five children in Ireland experienced enforced deprivation – that is a quarter of a million children and young people living in a house where the heating is not on, or they are without a hot, nutritious meal on the table. Children are experiencing a higher rate of deprivation than the population as a whole. Persistently, we see lone parent families, families with children, and those in rented accommodation experiencing difficulty on a different scale to others.”

“Almost half of the entire population experienced some difficulty making ends meet. For households with children and particularly children in lone parent families, this struggle to just keep their head above water is all the more apparent. Three quarters of lone parent families reported difficulty in making ends meet. There was also a substantial rise in the number of lone parent families who reported that they cannot afford to keep their home sufficiently warm, one fifth of families (21.5%) compared to 7.9% in 2021."

“The increased deprivation levels are particularly worrying in the current context of the cost-of-living crisis. The figures we see today reflect the first half of 2022 and given the sustained increases we have seen since then and the projected increases in the prices of basic household essentials; we are particularly concerned about what these families are currently experiencing,” continued Tanya Ward. “For these families, stretched income are simply not covering eating and heating, forcing many to have do without. Budget 2023 was heralded as the budget to support everyone to make it through this cost-of-living crisis, but it did not deliver effective targeted payments to ensure that those most in need can keep afloat beyond that. We needed to a see a greater increase the qualified child increase in order for families to simply stand still with rising costs. Now, what we are seeing is a dangerous that gap between a family’s income and the daily financial pressures to get by. We need urgent action to ensure more children and families are not pushed into this poverty gap.”

“The need for a long-term strategy to end child poverty is evident in the increases we are seeing in today’s publication. We are calling for the establishment of a Child Poverty Unit to build a team at a national level to drive cross-government work and deliver a series of measures to address the deteriorating situation for children. The increase in figures demonstrates that the most vulnerable children do not reap the benefits of universal measures on their own. The story behind these numbers is that thousands of families today are being pulled into poverty, far below what would be considered an adequate standard of living. Without long-term vision to turn the tide, these deprivation figures will only continue to increase, and we will fall further behind delivering a better standard of living for children and one they deserve,” concluded Tanya Ward.


For media queries, contact: Emma Archbold, Campaigns and Communications Director on 087 997 1410 /

Notes to editor:

  • Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview.
  • You can access the full CSO SILC data set here.

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About the Children's Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 140 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL #EndChildPoverty