'Rich-poor' gap in Ireland now stands at just under €1,000 per week 3 months ago

'Rich-poor' gap in Ireland now stands at just under €1,000 per week

The gap increased by over €150 per year as a result of the last budget alone.

A report by Social Justice Ireland, an independent think tank, has found that the gap between rich and poor people in Ireland has increased to the extent that it now stands at just under €1,000 per week.

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The report found that the 'rich-poor gap' now stands at €975 per week as a result of measures in the 2022 Budget, having increased by €154 per year, or €2.96 per week, as a direct consequence of it.

Furthermore, the gap has increased by €30 per week, or €1,550 per annum over the period from 2014 to 2022.

Social Justice Ireland CEO Dr Seán Healy has said that the choices that Government has made in recent Budgets will see the number of people in poverty grow.

The report features an assessment of how the gaps between jobseekers and those on middle and very high incomes have changed over recent years, particularly with the impact of the measures in the two most recent Budgets.

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As well as the figures outlined above, the report reveals that among households with jobs, gains range from a mere 39 cent per week for low-income couples on €30,000 to €16.11 per week for couples with incomes over €80,000.

This is as earners on the living wage of €12.90 gain more on account of the 60 cent increase in the level of that payment.

In terms of households dependent on welfare, meanwhile, the gains have ranged from €5 per week for single unemployed individuals to €24.65 per week for unemployed couples with two children over 12 years of age.

“Our analysis highlights how low-income families, those with incomes below the standard rate income tax threshold gain least from the budget measures over the past two years," Social Justice Ireland's Research and Policy Analyst Susanne Rogers said.

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“The households analysed are spread across all areas of society and include those with a job, families with children, those unemployed and pensioner households. This is a snapshot of Irish society."

Healy, meanwhile, said that the fundamental test for every Government is whether, when it leaves office, those with the least in our society are in a better position than when the Government entered office.

"The choices that Government has made in recent Budgets will see the number of people in poverty grow," he added.

“Our analysis shows that Government policy is not yet focused on achieving the objectives of reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion."

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