Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Niall Carson/PA Archive
Poverty

Gap between rich and poor broadened since 1987

The last 24 years – which saw Fianna Fáil in power for 21 – saw the top 10% of earners gain most, a new report says.

THE WEALTHIEST ten per cent of Irish people have seen their riches grow by a greater factor than anyone else’s since 1987, according to a new report published by Social Justice Ireland today.

The report, intended to coincide with the general election, noted that the top 10 per cent of Irish households account for almost a quarter of the state’s total disposable income – a greater proportion than it had done in 1987.

By comparison, the report suggested, the poorest tenth of households received just 2.28% of disposable income – ten times less than the amount enjoyed by better-off families.

The distribution of Ireland’s riches was so unequal, the report added, that the share enjoyed by the richer families – 24.48 per cent – was almost as much as the amount earned by the poorest 50 per cent of homes.

Social Justice Ireland argued that the country’s current economic policies – in particular, the four year plan and the EU-IMF bailout – were “continuing the process of supporting the better-off and seem set to produce a dramatic increase in poverty and social exclusion”.

There are 620,000 people in Ireland at risk of poverty – almost one in every seven people – and this number would be more than three times higher if social welfare payments were cut or removed altogether.

The publication will come as a sting to Fianna Fáil’s election hopes; the party has been in power, under four Taoisigh, for all but three years of the 24 years covered by the survey.

Read the Social Justice Ireland report in full >

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.