Doubling of deprivation is indictment of austerity; next Budget must focus on incomes

unite white out of redFigures show 1.2 million people, including 375,000 children, living in deprivation

Nearly one-in-three households with one person at work experiencing deprivation

April 16th: Responding today to the latest Survey on Income and Living Conditions, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said that the figures – which show that deprivation rates have more than doubled since 2007 and 1.2 million are currently living in deprivation – represent an indictment of the austerity policies pursued since 2009. Mr Kelly said the figures should spur the Government to change course in the next Budget and to combine an investment-led strategy with a reversal of recent cuts.

“Today’s figures must act as a wake-up call. Disposable income has fallen steadily since 2007, and deprivation has more than doubled, rocketing from 12 per cent to nearly 27 per cent. More than one in four of us now experience two or more types of deprivation.- including 375,000 children, or nearly one in three children.

“The figures for in-work deprivation are particularly shocking. Again, the rate of people in work suffering deprivation has more than doubled since the start of the crisis, and is now over 16 per cent of those employed. Nearly one in three households with one person working suffers deprivation.

“These figures are a direct result of successive austerity budgets which have cut the public services and income supports on which the most vulnerable depend, while strangling the public investment needed to grow the economy and create jobs. At the same time, wages in the public and private sectors have fallen.

“Austerity has failed households and failed the economy. The next Budget must be used to address the scandal of poverty and deprivation – not by indulging in tax cuts which would benefit few of the 1.2 million people living in deprivation, but by starting to reverse the cuts, invest in jobs and growth, and increase income supports for all low-income groups whether in or out of work. The focus of October’s Budget must be incomes”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.

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