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21st May 2024

‘Some key groups of children have been left behind’ – Government urged to boost welfare payments

Sophie Collins

children in poverty

There are an estimated 260,000 children in Ireland experiencing deprivation

The Government is being urged to put more focus on boosting welfare payments to help the children in Ireland who are living in poverty in the next budget.

It has also been called on for significant supports to be put in place for families affected by homelessness by the Children’s Rights Alliance.

According to the Child Poverty Monitor, when children who are most in need are neglected, they are more likely to fail in the future.

Tanya Ward, the Children’s Rights Alliance Chief Executive, told Newstalk that young people who live in poverty for extended periods of their life, are less likely to be positive about their future potential.

“We’ve got about 260,000 children at the moment experiencing deprivation,” she said. 

“What we know is it has a very negative effect on them and their life chances.

“They’re less likely to be very hopeful about their future and they’re more likely to fail in school and [not] complete the school cycle.”

Ms Ward went on to say that the current level of social welfare is not enough and is failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“Some key groups of children have been left behind,” she said. 

“If we take, for example, children whose parents are in receipt of welfare payments. 

“The Government has failed to provide really any kind of substantial increase on those payments. 

“Last year, €2 a week was what those families got and it didn’t even cover the price of a 2 litre [bottle] of milk.” 

According to St. Vincent de Paul, approximately 559,850 people were at risk of poverty in 2023.

Around 913,000 people were experiencing enforced deprivation and 182,050 people were living in consistent poverty.