Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has said that the UNICEF Innocenti Report, published today, underscores the major challenges facing the new Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Regina Doherty.

The UNICEF Innocenti Report Card assesses child well-being across 41 developed countries in the EU and the OECD.

“While Ireland is considered a well-developed country, the report highlights that, in a number of areas, the State is failing children.

“Nearly one in five children, 19% according to this report, is growing up in jobless households with Ireland one of the worst performing nations on this metric.

“These households are being marginalised and being left behind. Not only is this terrible for them, and their children, but it detrimental for the country as a whole.

“This report also underscores what Fianna Fáil has been saying for some time: for many households there is simply no economic recovery.

“The new Minister must ensure that addressing this issue one of this Government’s top priorities.

“The Taoiseach’s promise to create a ‘Republic of Opportunity’ was, of course, a catchy soundbite, but after six years in Government, and a year as Social Protection Minister in his own right, he must deliver and spearhead a cross-governmental response to ensure that all sectors of society prosper.

“People have had enough of soundbites and slogans and need to see the implementation of policies that deliver not only opportunity, but also a just and fair society,” concluded O’Dea.