A fifth of children are at risk of poverty, either because their parents are on welfare, which is inadequate, or are working, but paid too little, writes Seán Healy.
That such a large proportion of our children are living below the poverty line has major implications for the education system, for the success of these children within it, for their job prospects in the future, and for Ireland’s economic potential in the long-term.
In 2009, 14.1% of the population was classified as poor. Since then, the rate has increased, although it has slowed in recent years, because of an increase in core welfare payments.
If we are to develop an effective anti-poverty policy, we must know who is in poverty. The retired and the ill/disabled, although at a high risk of poverty, involve smaller numbers than adults who are employed (the working poor), people on home duties (i.e. working in the home, carers), and children/ students.
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