poverty problem | 

Quarter of a million Irish children lived in deprivation this year

One organisation says the Government must admit Ireland has an ongoing poverty problem as people continue to struggle.

File photo dated 19/11/14 of an elderly lady with her electric fire on at home.© PA

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A startling number of Irish children went without this year, as a quarter of a million experienced deprivation in 2022.

Social Justice Ireland responded Ireland’s worrying living standards today, highlighting the impact of the cost of living.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), almost 900,000 people went without across the country in 2022 – close to 20 pc of the population of Ireland.

“The latest figures show that households with one adult and one or more children, those who are unemployed and people not at work due to illness or disability continue to experience the highest rates of deprivation,” said Susanne Rogers, Social Justice Ireland’s Research and Policy Analyst.

"This is a persistent problem, and one the Government must urgently address”.

Deprivation means people are failing to afford two of eleven basic things like a night meal or drink with friends once a month, keeping the house adequately warm or new clothes.

They might also be without a warm waterproof coat or two pairs of strong shoes.

Being unable to afford a roast once a week, to replace worn-out furniture or presents for friends and family once a year are also key indicators.

Households with one adult and one or more children have the highest deprivation rate at 45.4 pc while more than 1 in 3 people living in rented accommodation experience deprivation.

Social Justice Ireland have slammed the Government’s recent decision to increase core social welfare rates by €20.

"That was the minimum that was required,” said Dr Séan Healy.

“Anything less would mean that Budget 2023 confirms Government has abandoned those who need its help most.”

The organisation said this must at least double and the Government should acknowledge Ireland has an ongoing poverty problem.

20 pc of the Irish population are at risk of poverty of social exclusion, according to Eurostat.

Last month, it was revealed that the cost of food essentials like bread, butter and milk have again hit a ten-year high.

A white sliced pan is now priced at an average of €1.63 across the country, the highest in a decade.

The national price of food, drink and other ‘luxuries’ like cinema tickets continued to rise in October, with the CSO painting a grim picture of the cost of living crisis.

The Sunday World told the story of a young nurse who is forced to steal toast during 14-hour shifts so she doesn’t collapse with hunger.

“Yesterday, before I went into work there was nothing in my press for lunch.

"Families will bring us in cakes and treats and I was hoping that someone would bring something in so I could eat. I am dependent on strangers to feed me,” the anonymous frontline worker said.

“Families will bring us in cakes and treats and I was hoping that someone would bring something in so I could eat.

"Caring for the sick and elderly, the young nurse says she is often on the brink of collapse as she faces into another day of food poverty.

“You are there to promote health and wellness and I am about to faint by someone’s bedside. I am dizzy and exhausted.”


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