National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion 2003–2005

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To view the National Action Plan in PDF, please select the link below.

This second National Action Plan (NAPs/incl) represents not just a Governmental, but a societal response, to the hallenge of combating poverty and social exclusion. It is the product of wide and intensive consultation with the social partners, the community and voluntary sector and many other interested parties. I wish to pay tribute to so many who gave their time, expertise and commitment to shaping the analysis and policies that make up this plan.

Its key objective is " to build a fair and inclusive society and ensure that people have the resources and opportunities to live a life with dignity and have access to the quality public services that underpin life chances and experiences".

This plan, together with those of the other EU Member States, is part of an EU wide drive to meet the EU objective set by the European Council at Lisbon in 2000 " to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty and social exclusion by 2010". I look forward to the exchanges of knowledge, experience, expertise and good practices in the

National Plans of the other Member States and the 10 Accession States, which will be joining the process, in further developing our policies and programmes. The high levels of economic growth achieved in Ireland in recent years has enabled us to achieve much in tackling poverty and social exclusion, in terms of increasing employment and reducing unemployment, especially long term unemployment, and in having much greater resources to invest in income support and the other services, such as health, education and housing.

It is necessary, however, to maintain the economic competitiveness required to ensure growth, while also ensuring that the fruits of that growth are used to best effect in building a fair and inclusive society. This National Action Plan is designed to achieve that balance. A report on the consultation that preceded the drawing up of the plan is being published as a companion volume to this plan. This report will be of great assistance in informing the ongoing process.

We are engaged in a great national and EU effort to build, in a very real and practical way, a morejust and cohesive society, where the interests of the most vulnerable are given the priority they deserve. This National Action Plan, which I am privileged to introduce, represents the next important stage of the process, to which I am wholeheartedly committed.

Last modified:06/11/2008

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