The purpose of the Social Inclusion Monitor is to report officially on progress towards the national social target for poverty reduction - to reduce consistent poverty to 4 per cent by 2016 and to 2 per cent or less by 2020 - and the new sub-target on child poverty. It also charts Ireland’s contribution to the Europe 2020 poverty target – to lift 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020 - and on other relevant indicators of poverty and social exclusion. The Monitor is primarily based on data from the CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2012.
- The economic crisis worsened in 2012, with unemployment reaching 14.7 per cent, while long-term and household joblessness also increased. Welfare provision was largely maintained, despite the requirement for expenditure savings.
- The social impact of the crisis was reflected in an increase in most poverty and social exclusion indicators, with the upward trend in basic deprivation especially noticeable.
- Against this challenging backdrop, social transfers performed strongly in reducing at-risk-of-poverty from 39 per cent to 16.5 per cent, a reduction of 57.7 per cent. Ireland remains among the best performing EU countries on this indicator.
- Other positive outcomes were the largely unchanged level of income inequality, while both in-work poverty and financial exclusion fell.
- The connection between unemployment and poverty was intensified, with over 80 per cent of those in consistent poverty – the priority group for poverty monitoring - living in households with little or no work. This highlights the importance of reducing unemployment as a route out of poverty.
- Spatially, consistent poverty was more prevalent in the Border, South-East and South-West regions, along with small and medium towns.
Click here to read the Social Inclusion Monitor.
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