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Over 232,000 children in Ireland are living in poverty

A review of Ireland’s economy also pointed out that the poorest ten per cent of the population had been hit hardest and said this has been “more or less ignored”.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A REVIEW OF Ireland’s economic policy has been critical of the country’s housing situation, pointing out that it is “unacceptable” to have more than 90,000 people on a waiting list for social housing.

Social Justice Ireland said in its review that this figure shows that the housing need in Ireland is at a crisis point. “It appears that the government has no credible plan of sufficient scale to address this issue in the foreseeable future,” the organisation said.

The group said the dramatic decline in allocation for social housing in the 2014 budget illustrates the government’s approach to housing policy “with a reorientation of funding from construction towards leasing initiatives but no coherent approach to reducing the number of households on waiting lists”.

Waiting

While 24 per cent of households had qualified in the previous 12 months, 32 per cent of those assessed as being in need of social housing were waiting more than four years. Nine per cent of people waiting more than seven years.

Most people on the waiting list are dependent on rent supplement. Social Justice Ireland said that the government should ensure the supply of social housing including co-op and voluntary / non-profit housing, on the scale required to eliminate waiting lists.

Poverty

Figures show here are 232, 039 children under the age of 18 living below the poverty line in Ireland. Overall, 731,984 people are living in poverty.

The review said that the fact that the poorest 10 per cent of the population had seen the biggest proportionate fall in their income was “more or less ignored”. It pointed to the rise in unemployment and general poverty levels at the same time as cuts to social welfare and the introduction of new charges for households.

Social Justice said tackline debt, poverty, services and governance should be the priorities in the years immediately ahead.

Read: 80,000 new homes are needed but TDs will hear today who needs them and where>

Read: Here’s how many houses Nama has handed over for social housing>

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