Fianna Fáil Social Protection Spokesperson Willie O’Dea TD has assessed the Government’s record on inequality, ahead of a conference on the subject today.
Deputy O’Dea commented, “After 5 years of a Fine Gael/Labour Government Ireland is a more unequal, divided, and fractured country. This is not by accident but by design.
“Other choices were possible, but this Government targeted those who had the least to give. It is a simple and undeniable fact that every single Budget introduced by this Government has been regressive, in that those who had the least to give lost the most.
“The cumulative impact of their measures has created real hardship for a large proportion of Irish society. What we now have is a two tier recovery that is building towards a two tier society.
“The Deprivation rate has doubled since 2008 from 13.7% to 29.0% while the number of people in consistent poverty has increased from 4.2% in 2008 to 8.0%.
“We all know about the disgraceful number of children living in temporary accommodation, but what is not as well known is that the number of children now in consistent poverty has grown to 11.2%. This equates to 1 in 9 children. In 2008 the rate was 6.3%. Furthermore, the number of children experiencing deprivation has almost trebled since Fine Gael/Labour took office. The Deprivation rate is 36.1% up from 13.5% in 2008.
“In Government Fianna Fáil have always worked to protect and insulate those on the lowest incomes and if elected we will ensure that people in poverty and those on the lowest incomes are not side-lined in the economic recovery. We will reverse changes made to the one parent family payment, increase pensions, restore the housing adaptation grant and have a Minister at the cabinet table with responsibility for disability. These are just a few of the measures that we will introduce to ensure that the Ireland of 2016 is an Ireland for All.”