Government is committed to its ambitious target of reducing consistent poverty to 2% or lower by 2025 – Minister Joe O’Brien

15th June, 2022

Joe O’Brien, TD Minister of State with responsibility for Social Inclusion in the Department of Social Protection spoke at the launch of a new ESRI study commissioned by the Department of Social Protection to explore how the national consistent poverty target of 2 per cent by 2025 could be achieved.

The research covered the period 2004-2019 and found that lone parents and their children and working-age adults with disabilities and their children experienced the highest rates of at risk-of-poverty (AROP), deprivation and consistent poverty.

In relation to labour market activation, wages and income poverty reduction, the report estimates an overall AROP rate of 14 per cent for 2022.   Research methods estimate that increasing female labour force participation and hours worked to match those of men could reduce the overall AROP rate by 2.9 percentage points (from 14 per cent to 11.1 per cent) and that of children by over five percentage points.  In addition, research methods concluded that if the head of all jobless households took up a job, this would also substantially contribute to reducing AROP rates – by three percentage points for children and by two percentage points for the whole population.

Speaking at the launch Minister O’Brien said:

This Government is committed to its ambitious target of reducing consistent poverty to 2% or lower by 2025, as set out in the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020 – 2025, our national strategy for poverty reduction and improved social inclusion. This report is an important contribution to inform policymaking in this area as it examines which means are most effective in reducing poverty.”

The report acknowledges challenges in increasing labour market participation while also looking after those out of work, and outlines that these are essential measures in order to achieve the national consistent poverty target of 2 per cent.

Further commenting Minister O’Brien said:

I wish to highlight an important event being held in my own constituency on the 22nd of June at the Bracken Court Hotel, Balbriggan.  The Social Inclusion Forum is an annual national event hosted by the Department of Social Protection which provides people affected by poverty and social exclusion, as well as the community organisations representing them, the opportunity to come together with officials from relevant Government Departments and the Minister for Social Protection to discuss poverty and social inclusion policy and the related issues of common concern.  The theme for the 2022 forum is “Maintaining Momentum: Implementing the Roadmap for Social Inclusion” I anticipate a good attendance and sharing of ideas for improved social inclusion at this event.

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