Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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CSO Poverty Shock

Archive Statements > 2015

CSO Poverty Shock
January 2015

The Central Statistics Office has dramatically revealed the extent of poverty and deprivation in this country as a direct result of Government policy.

It says that one third of a million people are now in consistent poverty and that without social transfers half of the entire population of the country would be at risk of poverty.

Even more startling is the fact that the number of poor children in Ireland has doubled in the past 5 years.

Older people have suffered severely as their fixed incomes have been slashed by cuts to secondary benefits such as telephone allowance, fuel allowance and prescription charges. Many older people have also seen their medical cards withdrawn despite assurances that this would not happen.

The situation of ordinary people is made many times worse by the additional imposition of new charges such as property tax, water charges and the latest new tax, the broadcasting tax which we will be asked to pay in the near future.

It is clear that the Government doesn’t get it. They don’t understand that ordinary people are not benefitting from the alleged economic recovery. People are outraged by continual statements from Government telling us that we are turning the corner. Ordinary people do not feel that way and in fact the CSO figures prove that many people are worse off as a result of decisions made by this Government.

People will be looking for a new beginning in the next election. They will never forget the betrayal they suffered at the hands of Fine Gael and Labour since 2011 and it just remains to be seen what alternative representation will earn the people’s support. One thing is clear, the next Government must place the highest priority on the economic and social well being of the ordinary people of this country and not on ensuring that only the rich survive the recession unscathed.

Joe Behan

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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