Home > Seanad Éireann debate. Poverty and social exclusion: motion.

[Oireachtas] Seanad Éireann debate. Poverty and social exclusion: motion. (19 Oct 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/seanad...

Senator Lynn Ruane: I move:

That Seanad Éireann:notes with concern that:

- in 2021:

- 11.6% of the population of Ireland, or 581,334 people, were living in poverty, of which 163,936 were children;- 4% of the population of Ireland, or 200,460 people, were living in consistent poverty;- approximately 16% of those living in poverty, or 93,013 people, were in employment;- approximately 19% of the population of Ireland, or 952,185 people, were at risk of poverty when housing costs were factored in, and that renters were the worst affected, with 41.6% at risk of poverty after rent was paid;- approximately 45% of one parent families, the majority of which are headed by women, were experiencing enforced deprivation, meaning that they could not afford goods and services considered to be the norm for other households;- 13.8% of the population of Ireland, or 691,587 people, were experiencing deprivation, of which 204,710 were children;- as of 2020, approximately 31% of Irish Traveller households were deemed to be in acute poverty by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency;- persons with a disability face a high risk of poverty due to additional costs not met by existing supports, which according to the 2021 Cost of Disability in Ireland Report, can range from €8,700 to €12,300 per annum...

I would like to reflect on a comment from the Dáil Chamber this week during a debate when reference was made to O'Connell Street and druggies. How, in 2022, do we have somebody who is the Chair of the Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science talking about druggies and framing people in this way? We know drug use and addiction prevails in the way it does because of poverty. If we are going to shame anybody, it should never be the individual. Rather, we should always focus on the conditions of capitalist markets and the protection of profits over people that have led to poverty continuing in the way that it does. The term "druggies" is dehumanising and separates the person from who we are as community because they are me, we are them and they are Dublin and Ireland. They cannot be separated from us. A person who uses drugs is often trying to escape the reality of poverty. If we chase the thread back from that type of drug use, it goes back to the halls of power, Parliament and legislation over years that has not radically addressed poverty.....

[For the full debate, click on the link to the Oireachtas website]

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