Children Living in Consistent Poverty Need a Lifeline

Published date: 
26 Nov 2015

Children Living in Consistent Poverty Need a Lifeline

 
The EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2014 figures have been published today. These figures show that the risk of poverty has gone up from 17.9% in 2013 to 18.6% in 2014. The consistent poverty rate is down very slightly from 11.7% in 2013 to 11.2% in 2014. Individuals living in households where there was one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest consistent poverty rate at 22.1%. 
 
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance, says: “We know from our members working at the coalface that child poverty is the most critical issue facing children in Ireland today. The statistics are stark: for example, more than 1 in 3 children cannot afford to have a warm winter coat, eat a hearty meal every other day or have an adequately warm home. Quite clearly, not enough has been done to help one-parent families who still experience the highest consistent poverty rate.
 
We are told that the economy is growing and unemployment rates are dropping. While that may well be the case, this recovery has not filtered through to the lives of children who are still bearing the brunt of harsh decisions made in times of austerity and recession. 
 
Poverty in childhood can have a lasting effect on a child’s life, education, future job opportunities as well as mental and physical health. Every child has the right to an adequate standard of living. 
 
The next Programme for Government must commit to tackling child poverty.  It is possible to insulate children from the impact of child poverty if the right decisions are made. Welfare payments alone are not the answer, but an overarching strategy on child poverty that involves a number of departments and agencies is urgently needed. Such a strategy must have a focus on one-parent families. We implore any incoming Government – whatever their political shape – to address child poverty once and for all. It’s possible and it’s imperative.”
 
__ENDS___
 
For further information, please contact: 
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager 
Tel: 01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067 or email emma@childrensrights.ie
 
Notes to Editor
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview. 
Together with our partners in Eurochild, the Children’s Rights Alliance is supporting the call of 11 MEPs, including Mairéad McGuinness MEP, to garner the support of the European Parliament to sign a declaration on investing in children. This comes on the back of figures showing that one in four children across the EU is at risk of poverty or social inclusion. The Declaration calls on the European Commission to set specific indicators on children at risk of poverty and it calls on EU states to use EU funding to implement the Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children.