Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea has called on the Government to do more to tackle child poverty. Deputy O’Dea made his comments based on the latest EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) data available which shows that there are 105,000 children in consistent poverty in Ireland.

Commenting Deputy O’Dea said: “The latest SILC data available shows that there 105,000 children in consistent poverty in Ireland. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society but children growing up in poverty tend to have poorer outcomes including lower levels of educational attainment, poorer health and an increased likelihood of experiencing poverty in adulthood. It is therefore essential that the Government makes a concerted effort to address child poverty and improve outcomes for all children in the state.

“Minister Doherty has long promised a new social inclusion strategy. This was due to be published last year and the Minister has now said that a new strategy covering the period 2019-2025 will be published imminently. It is disappointing that we are more than half way through 2019 and still awaiting this important strategy.

“This Government is in many respects failing the most vulnerable children; 105, 000 children are in consistent poverty; almost 58,000 children are awaiting an outpatient appointment and almost 4,000 children are living in emergency accommodation. The Taoiseach when he took office spoke of a ‘Republic of Opportunity’ but it is clear from these statistics that he and his Government are not delivering a republic of opportunity for thousands of children in this country”, he concluded.