Deputies

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Review of poverty target

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton told Willie O’Dea (FF, Limerick) that the government would soon publish the outcome of the review of the national poverty target set down in the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion in 2007 (Dail Eireann, Debates, 25th September 2012, 89-90).  Following this, arrangements would be made for appropriate consultation with stakeholders as to how to best implement its recommendations.  She added that in April 2012 the government had sent revised targets to the European Commission under the National Reform Programme for Ireland – 2012 update under the Europe 2020 strategy. The revised target was to reduce consistent poverty from the 2010 baseline of 6.2% to 4% by 2016, the interim target and to 2% by 2020, lifting a minimum of 200,000 people out of the risk of poverty between 2012 and 2020.  The revised targets meant that the government retained the ambition of the original target, despite the difficult economic circumstances and it would be achieved over an extended timeframe to 2020, in line with the EU timescale.  The government had agreed to a number of other changes to make a positive impact on poverty, such as sub-targets for children, jobless or low-work intensity households; and new supporting indicators.  She was determined to ensure that the less well-off in society were protected from the economic crisis and would benefit from new employment opportunities and economic recovery.  She looked forward to working with stakeholders to implement the revised and enhanced national social target for poverty reduction, she concluded.