“The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Ireland has faced many challenges over its 176 years in the country. But the current COVID-19 pandemic is probably one of the most difficult,” said new president, Rose McGowan.
"Energy usage during the restrictions has increased as people are at home more, and many households will experience bill shocks at a time when they are on a reduced income. This must be factored into decisions regarding the application of the PSO levy in 2020/2021, as the proposed increase will add additional pressure to already struggling households,” said Kieran Stafford, National President, SVP.
“The concentration of job losses in low paid sectors means that the impact (of COVID-19) has disproportionately fallen on groups that are least able to endure a financial hit,” said Kieran Stafford, national president, SVP.
“In the coming weeks, we expect to see an increased demand for our support as families find themselves in financial stress and hardship,” said Kieran Stafford, National President, SVP.
The charity stated that if revenue is raised from carbon taxes in Budget 2020 it must be ring-fenced for a Just Transition Fund and measures to protect low income households from energy price hikes.
The report finds that while HAP is intended to help families pay for a place to live, the reality is that HAP is so low that many cannot afford private rental accommodation.
The conference will facilitate discussion on challenges and opportunities facing charity retail in 2019, for example how SVP charity shops might approach trading in the global phenomenon called the “experience economy”.
“This report shows Ireland has a long way to go in creating pathways to sustainable, decent and family friendly employment which will address the growing issue of in-work poverty among lone parents” – Dr Tricia Keilthy, SVP.
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.
Data from Eurostat show that among EU peer countries Ireland has the second highest rate of households who cannot afford to adequately heat their home and the highest percentage of utility arrears.
“People are already trying to pay back huge energy bills after the ‘Beast from the East’ hit and now, with further hikes on top of that, many simply won’t be able to cope” – Bishop Denis Nulty.
“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.
“Back-to-school this week has been a really exciting time for lots of children and their parents. But for many low income and struggling households, the preparation for the new school year has been a huge source of stress and anxiety”.
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.
Special edition of SVP Bulletin highlights how Corrie's death “sparked a national conversation about homelessness but many campaigners feel the situation has not improved since then.”
Proposed 36% increase in the Public Service Obligation Levy (PSO) will wipe out almost 50% of recent savings for electricity customers.