300,000 children in Ireland live in relative poverty

November 24th, 2003 | by aobaoill |

Recently published reports in Ireland claimed that

a quarter of all children – some 300,000 – were living in relative poverty (defined as living in a household where the income is less than 60% of the average industrial wage) while 6.5% (around 70,000) were experiencing consistent poverty (which is defined as not having the basics of life such as a warm coat or a hot meal every day). 

A minor clarification – I believe relative poverty is measured with regard to the median wage, not the mean. But think about this. With around (AFAICR) 50% of women now in the workforce, a large proportion of households actually have two incomes. So households on 60% of median industrial wage are actually worse off relative to others than might be thought.I’ve commented previously on the difference between absolute and relative poverty, and this report gives an interesting example, with details of relative and ‘persistent’ poverty (which seems similar to a form of absolute poverty) – we can see that over a quarter of those in relative poverty are also in persisten poverty. A useful point of comparison is a recent report on the numbers poor and hungry in the United States.And then into this, throw the government’s plans to restrict rent supplements – such as requiring that a person must be renting for six months before becoming eligible for support. This can only hurt the most vulnerable.

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