Tánaiste welcomes SILC Report

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Tánaiste welcomes new CSO Data which shows positive impact of economic recovery on households' income and living conditions

More and more people are now clearly beginning to feel the benefits of the strong economic recovery being driven by Government, the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton T.D., said today (26th November 2015).

The Tánaiste was responding to the publication of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2014 by the Central Statistics Office.

She said a very positive finding is the increase in real median disposable income of 3.5% to almost €18,000 per individual. This primarily reflects an increase in employment, while unemployment fell from 13.1% to 11.3% in 2014. [Unemployment has since fallen to 8.9% as of last month].

The Tánaiste noted that social transfers such as welfare payments and Child Benefit continue to play a vital role in reducing the at-risk-of poverty rate. This was reduced from 37.4% (before all social transfers) to 16.3% after all social transfers; this represents a poverty reduction effect of 56.4%, meaning Ireland continues to have one of the strongest social systems in the EU for preventing poverty.

The Tánaiste highlighted the major impact of income taxes and social transfers in reducing income inequality in Ireland from 58.1% to 31.8%, a reduction of 26.3 percentage points.

The deprivation rate has also reduced from 30.5% to 29%. This represents the first fall in deprivation since the economic crisis started in 2008. Consequently, the consistent poverty rate has stabilised at 8%. The Tánaiste reiterated the Government's commitment to meeting the national social target for poverty reduction of 4% by 2016 and 2% or less by 2020.

The Tánaiste said: "Today's figures mark a turning point in the social recovery in households' income and living standards. They show that we are moving in the right direction with the effects of recovery being felt in households and living standards being gradually raised. The Government's objective is to create greater opportunities for every person, every family and every community so that Ireland becomes the best country in which to live, work and raise a family."

The Tánaiste added that "This improvement has been reinforced in Budgets 2015 and 2016 where average household incomes increased by a cumulative 2.3 per cent as shown in the Social Impact Assessment of the main tax and social welfare measures in these Budgets. Importantly, the analysis clearly demonstrates that the lowest-income households will benefit most from the welfare and tax changes."

The Tánaiste concluded: "The Government's priority is to create jobs and reduce unemployment. Unemployment is now down from a crisis peak of 15.1% to 8.9%, and long-term unemployment is down from 6.4% last year to 5%. I am confident that the actions of the Government to increase employment and to boost low and middle incomes will help to achieve the national poverty target."


Note to Editors:

The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) is an annual survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of a representative sample of 4,900 households or 13,000 individuals in Ireland. The survey collects information on the income and living conditions of different households in Ireland, in order to derive indicators on poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. It is carried out in every EU country under EU legislation and commenced in Ireland in June 2003. The findings for 2014 can be found at: http://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/socialconditions/. This release presents results based on data collected in the period January 2014 to January 2015.

Consistent poverty is the measure used to set the national social target for poverty reduction. It is the overlap of at-risk-of poverty (below 60% of median income) and basic deprivation (enforced lack of two or more basic necessities). The latest official figures show that the consistent poverty rate was 8% in 2014. The CSO state that this is not a statistically significant change from the 2013 rate of 8.2%.

The policy briefing and related documents on the National Social Target for Poverty Reduction are available at www.welfare.ie and www.socialinculsion.ie.

The research briefing and report on Social Transfers and Poverty Alleviation in Ireland are available at www.welfare.ie and www.socialinculsion.ie.

Last modified:26/11/2015