Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea has said that the Report Card published today by the Children’s Rights Alliance demonstrates that addressing child poverty needs to be a priority for the incoming Government.

Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Dea stated: “The Report gives the outgoing Government an E- (E minus) in relation to Child Poverty and describes progress in this area as unsatisfactory. It highlights that child poverty has deepened and that the number of children living in consistent poverty has risen from 9.3% in 2011 to 11.2% in 2014.

“The Report also highlights that lone parents in particular are vulnerable to poverty and social exclusion.  The policies pursued by the outgoing Government in relation to the One Parent Family Payment have caused a great deal of hardship for one parent families and the failure of their policies is reflected in the fact that 22% of lone parent households are living in consistent poverty, while almost 59% are experiencing deprivation.

“This Report highlights that too many children are experiencing poverty and social exclusion. This has a devastating effect on children and can have long term consequences in terms of future outcomes. It is creating a two-tier society, which is not only detrimental for the individual being left behind, but for society as a whole.

“Fianna Fáil is committed to building a fairer Ireland, an Ireland for all. While the make-up of the next Government remains undecided, it is clear that addressing child poverty and indeed poverty in general is of the utmost importance and needs to be a priority for the incoming Government.”