News & Media

Child poverty targets needed to end the cycle

13 May 2019

Statement by Sheila Nunan
Euro Candidate for Ireland South

Ireland South European election candidate, Sheila Nunan, has welcomed the commitment of all government parties to develop a National strategy to tackle child poverty. Ms Nunan has committed herself to the development of progressive policies which will focus on the elimination of poverty and social exclusion at European level.

Ms Nunan said,

“I have a proven track record of fighting for equality through my work with the INTO and ICTU, I look forward to working with our sister parties from across the EU to reduce poverty at local, national and European level, ensuring that every child has a decent start in life.”

Recent figures from the Children’s Rights Alliance suggest that 107,000 children in Ireland are still living in consistent poverty.

“There are too many families living in poverty in rural areas, towns and cities within this vast constituency. The 2016 Pobal Deprivation Index, showed that parts of Limerick city were the most deprived areas in the country, with some areas of the city experiencing unemployment rates of 69% among men and 40% among women, with 50% of the population having primary education only.”

Even when the finances were readily available, national governments have consistently failed to tackle child poverty.

Ms Nunan continued:

“The challenge we face in attempting to tackle child poverty needs some perspective. In 2008, when the country was flush with cash, our child poverty rate was at its lowest, with an unacceptable 68,000 children living in poverty!”

“I am am calling for a new Social Contract for Europe. A plan which will prioritise equality and tackle poverty, meaning the best possible start for all children. As part of this, Labour are proposing child poverty targets be established, performance based on these targets will be measured across member states, with those not meeting targets being sanctioned.”

“Our children deserve better. In Labour’s manifesto we have called for a European Child Guarantee that recognises the rights of the child, with the aim that every child would be free from abuse and have access to quality healthcare, childcare, education, housing and healthy meals.”