Seanad Group Leader and Seanad Spokesperson on Social Protection, Catherine Ardagh has said it is vital that the Government are mindful of struggling families during their Budget 2019 preparations.

Research published today by St Vincent de Paul (SVP) highlights the level of financial burden being faced by families across Ireland. The high cost of housing was the most cited cause of income inadequacy.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Senator Ardagh said, “Hidden behind the constant Government claims of a major economic recovery over the past 2 years have been the families who continue to struggle with the strain of juggling their low income to make ends meet.

“There is a growing and troubling narrative emerging on the part of some that these families don’t work, or at least don’t work hard enough to be able to afford their essential outgoing expenses but that is not necessarily the case at all.

“There are a myriad of reasons why a family’s income can take an unexpected hit –  a reduction in work hours, the death of a family member, a hike in the price of rent or even being struck down with an illness.

“The desperate lack of affordable childcare is another factor which has forced some parents out of work or has led to them having to work less hours meaning they earn less.

The Crumlin based Senator added, “The findings of this report sadly underscore much of what was already known and has been previously brought to the Government’s attention. These families require urgent support to help manage their shortfall in income.

“Anyone affected can tell you of the sacrifices and the stress of dealing with an inadequate income; the constant worrying about bills and not having the money to buy sufficient food, heating or to pay for incidental school bills.

“I hope that Government will be especially mindful of these families in its preparations.”