Gary Gannon TD

The Government is failing miserably to address the issue of generational poverty, according to Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.

Deputy Gannon, who is the party’s spokesperson on Social Protection, said:

“An analysis of data included in the Pobal Deprivation Index reveals that the number of people living in areas classed as ‘very disadvantaged’ or ‘extremely disadvantaged’ increased from 143,506 in 2016 to 195,992 in 2022 – a rise of more than 52,000 over six years.

“Even though the figures show that employment growth returned to 2006 levels, areas classed as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ disadvantaged did not experience the same level of improvement recorded in the majority of communities.

“The index shows that a disproportionate number of disadvantaged communities are located in my own constituency of Dublin Central, as well as the north and west suburbs of the city and other locations outside the capital.

“Significantly, these are all areas where there are more lone parents, higher unemployment rates and lower levels of education.

“Despite the Taoiseach’s pledge to make Ireland the best country in Europe to be a child, his Government continues to pay lip service to the issue of generational poverty.

“This was evident in the recent Budget when the Qualified Child Payment only increased by a derisory €4. The Government also failed to create a new DEIS-Plus categorisation for the most disadvantaged schools, as proposed by the Social Democrats.

“Eliminating poverty requires a combination of child and adult income supports, in addition to access to quality public services. The Government must now use the data published by Pobal to ensure that resources and supports are targeted at the disadvantaged areas that need them most.”

November 2, 2023

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