PRESS RELEASE: Latest CSO figures demonstrate the growing need for a national action plan to reduce child poverty

Published date: 
29 Nov 2019

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Latest CSO figures demonstrate the growing need for a national action plan to reduce child poverty

Today (28.11.2019) the Central Statistics Office released the updated Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2018.
Speaking in response to the key findings, Tanya Ward, Chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance commented, “Last year, the CSO survey was a seen as a relief, highlighting the first significant drop in consistent poverty since the recession. However, the latest figures would indicate that this progress slowed down in 2018.

Consistent poverty rates for under 18s fell slightly from 8.8% in 2017 to 7.5% in 2018 and the numbers of those at risk of poverty dropped from 39.5% to 33.5% in the same period, neither of these are considered to be statistically significant. While it is great to see a decline in the number of children and young people experiencing consistent poverty, however small, it is also still unacceptable that in a country as economically rich and capable as Ireland, that we still have so many families living in consistent poverty and children spending their childhoods in poverty.”

Tanya Ward continued, “Lone parent families are still experiencing the highest rate of deprivation at 42.7%. It is evident from these figures, that there needs to be a continued focus beyond the budget, on the most vulnerable groups in our society who are living day to day. We need to address low pay and targeted income supports as well as looking at access to services like healthcare and education supports that will help free these families from the grip of poverty.

Our national target is to lift 100,000 children out of consistent poverty by 2020. Surveys like this are so important because they show the progress that has been made through anti-poverty measures and concerted and collaborative efforts from political and civil society. But they also demonstrate the need for sustained focus on poverty as a political issue. Government need to look beyond the budget to make the transformational, long-term changes that are needed to turn the dial on child poverty. This is why we are calling for a national action plan that looks specifically at child poverty and issues children and their families are dealing with across the country. We will be looking closely at how this is represented in the new social inclusion strategy when it is released.”

ENDS
Contact: Emma Archbold, Children’s Rights Alliance, Tel: 01-662 9400 / 0879971410, Email: emma.archbold@childrensrights.ie

Notes to Editor:
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview.
Access the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2018 here.

About the Children’s Rights Alliance
• Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL.
• The Children’s Rights Alliance Helpline is open Mondays 10am to 2pm and Wednesdays 2pm to 7pm. If you have are looking for legal information or advice, please contact us on 01 902 0494 or email help@childrensrights.ie