Poverty and unemployment increasing

30 Nov 2011

Publication cover - we the peopleToday the Central Statistics Office released two sets of data: the Live Register for November 2011 and the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2010. The SILC shows the impact of social transfers in helping to keep people out of poverty. According to SILC the at-risk-of-poverty figure would be 51% without such transfers. The fact that the at-risk-of-poverty increased to 15.8% in 2010 highlights the growing income inequality in Ireland. Consistent poverty increased to 6.2% in 2010: a figure the previous Government had targeted to bring down to 2-4% by next year and eliminate by 2016!
Looking at these figures for unemployed people they are even worse: unemployed people's at-risk-of-poverty rate has increased to 26.1% while the consistent poverty rate has increased to 15.2%. The only other group with a worse consistent poverty rate is a group that would include a lot of unemployed and other jobless households: the group whose housing is described as 'rented at below the market rate or rent free'. "What these figures clearly highlight is that the Government must stand by their commitment to maintain social welfare rates," said Bríd O'Brien, Head of Policy and Media with the INOU.
The growing number of people on the Register for more than a year, which stands at 42% in comparison to 35% a year ago, highlights the importance of a jobs strategy that will really produce jobs. "An agenda of cuts, cuts, cuts is clearly not delivering," said Bríd, "We need delivery on decent jobs instead," she concluded.