Specific interventions needed to support lone parents and adults with a disability
A new study found there is a significant gap in the rate of persistent deprivation experienced by vulnerable adults, including lone parents and adults with a disability, and the rate experienced by other adults. Out of 11 EU countries, Ireland’s gap was the largest and increased the most during the study’s time frame of 2004-2015.
This gap exists even in countries with generous welfare systems and a low overall rate of deprivation. Policies that reduce poverty among the general population do not adequately address deprivation experienced by vulnerable groups.
Targeted interventions are required to support vulnerable groups and to effectively tackle child poverty, which is more prevalent in households with a lone parent or adult with a disability.
Gap between vulnerable adults and other adults in Ireland
The research measured material deprivation across 11 EU countries: Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Greece. The research measured deprivation in three sets of two-year periods: the years of economic growth (2005-2006), recession (2008-2009) and recovery (2013-2014). This dynamic analysis, examining the situation of individuals over two years, made it possible to distinguish persistent deprivation from deprivation that was present in just one year.
Deprivation is always highest among lone parents and adults with a disability
Vulnerable adults fare worse even in countries with low overall deprivation rates
Dorothy Watson, ESRI, commented: “Policies that successfully reduce poverty for the population as a whole are not enough to support vulnerable groups. Proactive steps are required to address the deprivation experienced by lone parents and adults with disabilities, and also to tackle the higher rate of child poverty associated with these households. Such interventions are particularly urgent in Ireland, as the data show that the deprivation gap is most pronounced here.”
Minister Regina Doherty said: “The most recent data from the CSO on Income & Living Conditions shows that the headline consistent poverty measure fell from 8.7% in 2015 to 8.3% in 2016. The trend is in the right direction, and we must work to make sure this continues. As the economy continues to recover, with unemployment down from 11.3% in 2014 to 6.2% at present, I expect that the figures for 2017 will show further reductions in poverty.
But as this report shows, poverty is not just about income. It is multidimensional and it is complex. So the actions we take to address poverty and social exclusion in Ireland must take account of this diversity and complexity; and we will continue with our ‘whole of Government approach’.”
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.