Some Stark facts:
44% of unemployed individuals were at
risk of poverty.
Just under one in five of those with a
chronic illness were at risk of poverty.
6.9% of the population experience
In 2006 almost one in three lone
parent households and 11.1% of
children experienced consistent poverty
– both increased since 2005.
Overall 17% of people were at risk of
poverty using the Irish measurement.
This includes 39.6 % of lone parents,
25.8% of those with primary education
or less and 6.5% of those in work.
Every problem in Ireland which requires the spending of tax-payers money, will always be referenced to the Bank bailout. But the situation could not be more diverse. NAMA could cost €7bn, €30bn and the Bond holders will be spared. The higher interest payments will just have to borne by the tax-payer. The quasi-nationalisiation of banks are seen as investments, but there is no similar approach to the poor. Particulary those who are consistently in poverty.
This measures those who are at-risk-of-poverty and
who are also unable to afford one of a set of eight
agreed items. These items are known as deprivation
items. Inability to afford one of these items means
that someone is marginalised and excluded from
participating in what are considered normal activities
in society. The list has been updated for 2007
onwards9 however, the eight agreed items for current
poverty statistics are:
- No substantial meal for at least one day in the
past two weeks due to lack of money
- Had to go without heating during the last year
through lack of money
- Experienced dept problems arising from
ordinary living expenses
- Unable to afford two pairs of strong shoes
- Unable to afford a roast dinner once a week
- Unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken,
fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day
- Unable to afford new (not second-hand) clothes
- Unable to afford a warm waterproof coat
The numbers in Relative Poverty (calculated at 60% of median income) would equate 17% of the population. 60% of Median Income is €202 for 2008, most social welfare payments are €204. Relative poverty is less stark but it highlights the disparity in income levels and one does not need to be an expert to see a link between high income inequality and crime, depression and suicide.
What needs to be done:
1) Social Welfare rates must RISE for 2009/2010.
2) The Greens need to pull out of government if there is any further talk of reducing social welfare or the minimum wage.
3) The barriers/social welfare traps need to be removed - a person must not face a threat of losing benefits or allowances by taking a part-time job, education/training or other impediment from activeely seeking employment (eg childminding for partner/family).
4) A basic income system should be considered for those in consistent poverty for greater than a year. Basic Income
5) All of the politcal parties need to sign up to the above and those who reject it shamed.
NAMA, ACC, FAS, John O'D, Thornton Hall, Luas overruns, are scandalous but pale into insignificance of the scandal of 1 in 6 people in Ireland being in poverty at the end of our greatest boom in history.