11.1 Poverty and Social Exclusion

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Household incomes have fallen by €1800 per person since 2008, 64 per cent more than the average drop in income in the other Eurozone countries.1 Data from the 2012 EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC) indicates that 16.5 per cent of the population are at risk of poverty while 7.7 per cent are living in consistent poverty. Deprivation rates have more than doubled since 2007 meaning that 26.9 per cent of the population cannot afford very basic items.2 Children, unemployed people, lone parents and individuals not at work due to disability or illness had the highest rates of consistent poverty.3

The National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 aimed to reduce consistent poverty to between two and four percent by 2012 and eliminate it entirely by 2016.4 However, the national poverty target was revised in 2012 in light of the recession with the aim to reduce the consistent poverty rate to four per cent by 2016 and to two per cent or less by 2020 in line with the Government’s commitments under the EU 2020 Strategy.5 The Government has also set a specific target to lift 70,000 children out of poverty by 2020.6


FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:

  • Carry out adequate social impact assessments in relation to all budgetary decisions and adopt a whole-of-government approach to tackling poverty and social exclusion.


1 Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (2014) Society at a Glance 2014 Highlights: Ireland the crisis and its aftermath, Paris: OECD, p.1.

2 Central Statistics Office (2014) Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), Cork: CSO, p.1.

3 Central Statistics Office (2014) Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), Cork: CSO, p.6.

4 Office for Social Inclusion (2007) National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016, Dublin: Stationery Office.

5 Department of Social Protection (2012) National Social Target for Poverty Reduction: Policy Briefing on the Review of the National Poverty Target, Dublin: Department of Social Protection, p.3.

6 Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2014) Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The national policy framework for children & young people 2014-2020, p.12.

Last Updated: 22/01/2015 ^ back to top