Social Justice Ireland says gap between rich and poor is wideningTuesday, July 17th, 2012
A policy briefing on poverty and income distribution held by Social Justice Ireland (SJI) shows that the income of Ireland's poorest households fell be over 18% in a single year, while the income of the richest rose by 4%.
The report, based on an EU report, suggests that the top 10% of the population receives almost 14 times more disposable income. In comparison, the poorest are experiencing the worse income distribution over the past 30 years.
Social Justice Ireland suggests that Government policy favours the rich at a time when Ireland's most vulnerable people are struggling to make ends meet.
Speaking to CiNews, research and policy analyst with SJI Michelle Murphy said, “No anti-poverty strategy can be effective without a policy designed to address the issue of low incomes.”
She added, “The government needed to address long term unemployment and change its approach to the budget.”
Her words were reaffirmed by the Director of SJI Fr Sean Healy.
“There is something profoundly wrong with Government decisions that produce a lopsided distribution of income favouring the richest, when Ireland's poor and those on middle incomes struggle to make ends meet in these extremely difficult times.”
Fr Healy said that despite the figures revealed in the EU Social Inclusion Living Conditions 2010 report, which were published in March of this year, show that, “Government policy is continuing to increase the income of the richest 10 per cent of households and widening the gap between these and the rest of society.”
Fr Healy added, “The current strategy being pursued by Government is making the situation worse. Its approach to fiscal adjustment is both unjust and unnecessary in a country with one of the lowest total tax-takes in the developed world. Decisions have been taken that have seriously damaged Ireland's most vulnerable people, that place a disproportionate burden on their shoulders and seriously damage the social infrastructure on which they depend.”
by Sean Ryan