SVP Report Exposes Failures of Fine Gael Government – O’Dea

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has said poverty and deprivation continues to be rife in Irish society.

Deputy O’Dea made his comments on foot of a new Society of Vincent de Paul report which found that 140,000 children are living in homes that have issues with leaks, damp and rot.

Commenting on the matter Deputy O’Dea said, „This report exposes the reality that 140,000 children are growing up in substandard accommodation and that children in one parent households are particularly exposed to energy poverty and the associated health risks.

„The report also exposes that over half of the poorest children in households reliant on social welfare are not in receipt of the fuel allowance. This is an issue that I have been raising with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection in the context of the increase in the Carbon Tax in the Budget.

„It is evident that vulnerable households are struggling to afford basic necessities such as heating, and many families are in arrears on their utilities. Coupled with this we have a homeless crisis of unprecedented proportions and almost 4,000 children living in emergency accommodation which is taking a terrible toll on children’s emotional and physical well-being.

„The modest improvements in the rates of poverty and deprivation in the latest SILC data do not reflect the rate of economic growth and this underscores that improvements in the economy are not being distributed evenly.

„Fine Gael may talk of a booming economy, but it is evident that thousands of people are being left behind and that a two-tier society very much exists and persists under their watch – this report is further evidence if we needed it.

Fianna Fáil

Willie O’Dea TD

Spokesperson on Employment Affairs & Social Protection

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