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People queue for welfare in Dublin last year Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Government ‘failing its own targets’ on poverty and unemployment

Key targets set by the Government after it came to power will be missed, Social Justice Ireland has warned.

THE GOVERNMENT IS set to miss its own key targets on poverty and social inclusion, according to a study published today by Social Justice Ireland.

Ireland is currently “moving in the wrong direction”, with more people falling into poverty, the jobs market flatlining and a lack of action in key areas, the study says.

The research measures the progress of Irish society against the Europe 2020 Strategy, as part of which the Fine Gael/Labour government set itself targets after coming to power last year.

The Government pledged to raise the employment rate to 69-71 per cent among people aged 20-64. However, SJI warns that the latest figures show the rate at 64.9 per cent. “It is not envisaged that this situation will improve anytime soon,” the study says.

Social Justice Ireland called for action to reduce unemployment. It also said the Government should carry out “social impact assessments” before implementing policies, to measure how austerity measures affect the most vulnerable in society.

“There can be no doubt that both the Irish Government and the EU are failing Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable,” SJI director Dr Seán Healy said. “It is essential that both institutions prioritise solidarity and ensure the Europe 2020 Strategy is genuinely inclusive.”

More: Unemployed people “are not statistics”>

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