POVERTY PREVAILS – Are you or is someone you know affected by poverty?
When we think of the term poverty, we often associate it with third world countries or inner city slum areas. However, poverty is very close to home these days. According to the TheJournal.ie, as of this month, July 2016, 750,000 people in Ireland are living in poverty, that is, they are living on less than €218 per week. A definition from the National Anti-Poverty Strategy explains that, “People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living that is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally”.
Unfortunately money tends to come where money is. An interesting fact is that, the top 10% of households receive 24% of Irelands disposable income, while the bottom 10% only receive 3%. There is quite a substantial gap between the wealthy and the poor and ideally the country could become more balanced if this gap were lessened.
We are hearing constantly about the housing crises in this country but it’s also worrying that almost one in five children live in households below the poverty line. Our basic rights need to be considered here and everything should be done in order to ensure children are brought up in the best environment possible. Nelson Mandela once stated, “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is manmade and can be removed by the actions of human beings”.
A lot of us Irish people are quite modest and often cover up things saying “it’ll be grand”, even though we may be struggling to pay bills. People may be proud and afraid to admit they are struggling financially. Even some working people could be suffering financially as TheJournal.ie reveals that 18% of adults living in poverty are employed, those known as the “working poor”.
More and more it is becoming evident that Irish households are severely struggling financially and it is time this issue is addressed. Even though some steps have been taken in order to help with this issue and charities also play a major role in helping those caught in the poverty trap through low income or unemployment, more needs to be done.