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One third of Irish population forced to go without basic necessities

A report this morning also warns that we will need to serious investment in healthcare facilities as the number of over 85s in Ireland will double by 2025.

Image: family image via Shutterstock

SINCE THE ONSET of the recession in 2007, the number of people in Ireland living in poverty has increased by almost 120,000 and today more than 750,000 people fall into this category.

A report from Social Justice Ireland this morning points out that the deprivation rate, which measures the number of people forced to go without at least two of the 11 basic necessities, has more than doubled and this number is now 1.2 million, or 26.9% of the population.

It is important that every effort is made to reduce income inequality and to narrow the income gap between the richest ten per cent of the population and the poorest ten per cent.

Source: Social Justice Ireland

The ‘at risk of poverty’ rate in rural areas is 4.5% higher than that of urban areas. The report said it is clear that there needs to be a move “from agricultural development to rural development, from maritime development to supporting coastal communities and to support small, local, sustainable and indigenous enterprises, farming and fishing”.

It highlights the rolling out of high speed broadband in rural areas as a priority.

Unemployment

The number of long-term unemployed was less than 32,000 in 2007 and has increased since, reaching 155,500 at the end of 2013.

Source: Social Justice Ireland

Since the beginning of the recession, full-time employment has fallen by almost 18% – that’s 312,000 jobs. Part-time employment, however, is up 17%.

The transition to these high levels since 2007 has been rapid. The experience of the 1980s showed the dangers and long-lasting implications of an unemployment crisis characterised by high long-term unemployment rates.

According to the report, the level of long-term unemployment remains a “major policy failure” and the government needs to give more attention to it.

Health

The report also said that by 2025, the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 will have doubled and this will have clear implications for the health service. It warns that Ireland needs to learn from past mistakes and plan for this additional demand by training staff and building the facilities needed.

Supports that enable people to live at home also need to be part of the wider strategy, according to Social Justice Ireland.

Read: ‘There’s a little boy or girl in your community who’s going to bed cold or going to school hungry’>

Read: 1 in 5 workers earn less than the ‘living wage’>

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