“The electorate want this problem solved, believes it can be solved but does not believe any party has yet put forward the solutions that are needed to solve it. It is up to the newly elected councillors to show what can be done” – Pat Dennigan, Focus Ireland.
Focus Ireland stressed that much good work is being done but the crisis will continue without a substantial increase in social housing provision as a matter of urgency and a move away from providing yet more emergency accommodation and hubs.
SVP is still receiving an average of 1000 calls for help every day from worried families in the run-up to Christmas and is particularly concerned about some people in private rented accommodation.
Barnardos provided practical and emotional supports to children and parents in its 40 centres, in families’ own homes, through the school environment and within their communities.
The survey showed that 11 per cent of primary school parents and 21 per cent of secondary school parents are forced to borrow money to cover school costs. Other parents either delay payment of other bills or take money out of savings.
The “hidden homeless” are people who often don’t have the option to declare themselves officially homeless and to put themselves on the local authority emergency accommodation list.
Research shows that two thirds of the higher costs for older children go towards food, clothing, personal care and social inclusion costs. Some €9.50 of the extra costs goes on second level education expenses.
“Based on the experience of our 11,000 members, we are willing to engage with Government to relate how future policies should be poverty proofed and work for those families that are struggling,” - Kieran Stafford, SVP National President.
"The health, well-being and development of too many children is being compromised because of inefficiencies and resource gaps in our public health system" - Barnodos
Having a long-term approach to investing in services will prove more beneficial in building a more sustainable equitable society for our children.
SVP members regularly visit families who put off paying bills, fall into debt, or sacrifice spending on food and other essentials to cover school costs such as events, exams, curricular-based sport and music, trips and equipment.
“It is clear to us the economic recovery isn’t being felt by all as we are supporting parents who are under huge strain to meet the needs of their children because of the absence of appropriate quality public services” – Fergus Finlay, Barnardos.
“It is important for every candidate seeking our vote in the coming weeks to understand the appalling extent of child poverty rates in Ireland" - Barnardos.
“It seems to be almost explicit Government policy that people are expected to live below that poverty line and we see the consequences” - Mike Allen of Focus Ireland.
“The Taoiseach recently said the elimination of child poverty was a moral imperative for any government. Yet child poverty rates in Ireland are a national scandal."