Jennifer Whitmore TD

Shameful levels of child poverty will be one of this Government’s enduring legacies, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on children, said:

“The release of the Children’s Rights Alliance’s third Child Poverty Monitor makes for grim reading.

“The report reveals that 260,773 children experienced enforced deprivation in 2023 – the equivalent of more than the population of Clare and Waterford combined.

“Ireland is a wealthy country. There is simply no justification for allowing a child to go to bed hungry or not having clothes or shoes that fit for school.

“The report found that the biggest gap in Government action for children in the last three years has been on income, as poverty starts with not having enough money to buy everyday essentials.

“In the last budget, the Government only raised the Qualified Child Increase by a derisory €2 – not nearly enough to prevent families from falling into poverty.

“This is happening at a time when more than 4,000 children are living in emergency homeless accommodation due to the Government’s failure to get to grips with the housing crisis.

Sadly, as the report points out, it is children and young people who shoulder the highest consistent poverty rates of any age group in the country.

“So much for this Government’s commitment to make Ireland the best country in Europe to be a child.”

May 20, 2024

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