In April 2014, the Government set a national child poverty reduction target and committed to adopt a multidimensional approach to tackle child poverty. This pledge forms part of Ireland’s commitment to radically reduce poverty by 2020 under the European Commission Europe 2020 strategy.
The Department of Social Protection is leading on the preparation of a paper setting out the whole of Government approach to meeting the child poverty reduction target under the work plan of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 (BOBF). This will be presented to the BOBF Policy Consortium on completion.
In October 2015, a child poverty subgroup was established under the auspices of the National Advisory Council for Children and Young People under Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. The subgroup comprises both statutory and non-governmental (NGO) representatives and is co-convened by the Department of Social Protection and the Children’s Rights Alliance.
The NGO representatives on this subgroup – Barnardos, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the National Youth Council of Ireland, One Family and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – have developed this paper to inform the whole of Government approach to tackling the number of children in consistent poverty. This paper follows the format and order of the EU Recommendation on Investing in Children. This paper is informed by discussions with, and helpful feedback from, Government Departments. The paper was drafted in advance of the announcement of Budget 2017 on 11 October 2016. A number of changes were announced in Budget 2017 which relate to the recommendations made in this paper and these are footnoted where relevant. The information contained in the paper was up-to-date and valid at the time that the document was completed and circulated to the National Advisory Council on 25 October 2016. The National Advisory Council for Children and Young People adopted the paper on 23 November 2016.
We welcome the circulation by the Department of Social Protection of a draft Discussion Document and other background material in June 2016. We look forward to ongoing discussions on the development and implementation of the whole of Government approach.