One in eight children without basics such as heating or warm clothes

Numbers anchored in consistent poverty escalate to 140,000, fresh data reveals

Campaigners said the scale of rising poverty amounted to a “national scandal”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Campaigners said the scale of rising poverty amounted to a “national scandal”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The number of children rooted in consistent poverty and going without basics such as heating or warm clothing has risen to 140,000 or one in eight children, new figures show.

Campaigners on Wednesday said the scale of rising poverty amounted to a “national scandal” and should be a wake-up call for the Government and policymakers. The 2013 survey on living conditions by the Central Statistics Office shows the number of children living in consistent poverty – those living both at risk of poverty and experiencing deprivation – has risen to nearly 12 per cent. This is up from nearly 10 per cent in 2012 and almost double the 6 per cent rate in 2008.

In addition, more than a third (37 per cent) of young people – or 400,000 – experienced enforced deprivation. This is up from 18 per cent in 2008. The figures indicate the Government will miss its anti-poverty targets.

Ministers have pledged to reach the national social target for poverty reduction of reducing consistent poverty to 4 per cent by 2016.

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Rates of poverty, deprivation

However, Fergus Finlay, chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardos, said the figures were a national scandal.

“How many times do we need to hear about the inexorable rise in child poverty figures in Ireland before we take decisive action?” he asked.

Among the report’s findings are that:

l That 1.4 million people, or almost 31 per cent of the population, suffered from deprivation and were not able to afford basic items;

l A quarter of the population was not able afford to heat their home adequately;

l Deprivation rates were most acute among lone parents, the unemployed and those not at work due to illness or disability.