No comfort for low income families in CSO Findings

Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that there is little comfort for families and individuals in the latest CSO analysis that suggest that a large proportion of the population are at risk of poverty. Crowe welcomed state welfare supports which is keeping families out of greater poverty but claimed that  while we continue to subsidise those on low income the Irish taxpayer is also subsidising bad employers that are paying exploitive wages.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The latest Central Statistics Office findings contain little comfort for families and individuals at risk of poverty and highlight the very real danger that a large proportion of our population are at risk of greater poverty if welfare supports were to be withdrawn.

“Social welfare transfers like family income supplement alleviate some of the greatest difficulties, but large sections of our society are being paid well below a living wage.

“Hundreds of thousands of workers in full time work are being paid a wage that is insufficient to pay for basics like rent, food, clothing
and health.

“This cannot go on and needs to be urgently addressed by any new government.

“We need to ensure that the rate of pay by employers also reflects the true cost of living. This can only be done by increasing the minimum wage and introducing a Living Wage.

“A Living Wage is a function of the employers’ pay and the cost of living. The more reasonable the cost of living, the less pressure there is on employers.

“The cost of living element should be the government’s responsibility but is not being addressed in any structured way by them.

“The government can and should implement practical steps that are necessary to take the pressure off low and middle income families including implementing rent certainty, reforming the private housing supply, creating universal provision of healthcare, making education free to families, supporting childcare costs as well as reforming the sheltered sectors of insurance, law, energy and credit.

“These measures would transform Irish society and overnight give real hope to families living in poverty or those currently at its margins.”