Barnardos supported 8 per cent more children in 2016 than in 2015.
The children’s charity stated that it helped more than 12,304
children and families during the first nine months of 2016 compared with
11,718 during the first nine months of 2015.
“It is clear to us the economic recovery isn’t being felt by all as
we are supporting parents who are under huge strain to meet the needs of
their children because of the absence of appropriate quality public
services,” said Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos.
He stated that the Government’s main policy for young people – Better
Outcomes, Brighter Futures 2014–2020 – has shown little visible impact
in the first two years of its existence.
“Its intention to lift 70,000 children out of poverty by 2020 has had
to be altered upwards to 96,000 in light of the greater number of
children living in consistent poverty,” he said.
According to the Department of Social Inclusion, people who live in
consistent poverty are those with an income below 60 per cent of median
income and who are deprived of two or more goods or services considered
essential for a basic standard of living, for example, who do not eat
meals with meat every second day or have a warm waterproof coat.
Barnardos has seen that housing is a major problem for the people it
helps. For example, one couple described how nine people plus a baby are
living in a three bedroom house and the local corporation has stated
that it will be “years” before proper accommodation becomes available.
Parents also find that education is not “free” in Ireland and one
couple said it cost them €2,000 to send their children back to school.
Books, uniforms, shoes, gym gear and the so called ‘voluntary
contribution’ all add up.
Parents of six children going to school stated that their son in
fifth year needed €400 for books alone.
They could not afford this and
he was afraid to go to school because he did not have his school books.
couple said that their two secondary school children needed €350 each
The principal suggested a payment of €70 per week but the
parents could only afford €20 per week. The books were not given to the
students until the full amount had been paid.
“It is a challenging time for thousands of families in Ireland today,” stated June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos.
She explained that the charity was encouraged by some steps taken in
Budget 2017, but many children’s public services are under-resourced or
“It is crucial that 2017 sees quicker implementation of the varied
recommendations of the Government’s own framework so that children can
achieve better outcomes and experience brighter futures,” she said.
The numbers of people that Barnardos helped also increased in
In 2015 the organisation helped 11,718 people, which
was 340 more than in 2014, when 11,378 were assisted.
In July 2016 Social Justice Ireland (SJI) released figures stating
that 750,000 people were living in poverty in Ireland on under €218 a
SJI also found that:
– The percentage of adults living in poverty who are employed is 18 per cent – these are called ‘the working poor’.
– The top 10 per cent of households receives 24 per cent of Ireland’s
total disposable income while the bottom 10 per cent of households only
receives 3 per cent.
– Almost one in five children live in households with incomes below the poverty line.
– Most weekly social assistance rates paid to single people are €30 below the poverty line.
In November 2015 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) income survey
showed that nearly 140,000 children were living in consistent poverty.
The Survey on Income and Living Conditions for 2014 showed that 8 per
cent of the population was in consistent poverty, with the highest rate
among unemployed people at 22.6 per cent.