National Child Poverty Target Submission

Issued: January 2024


Responding to the public consultation on the National Child Poverty Target.

This submission discusses relevant aspects of the Programme for Government, the Roadmap for Social Inclusion, and the priorities of the Child Poverty and Wellbeing Programme Office; and provides an overview of recent MESL findings on income adequacy, the adequacy of child income supports and income adequacy for specific groups, such as one parent households and households with older children.

The Research Centre makes the following recommendations:

  1. Address the gap that now exists between current Social Welfare rates and the cost of living, and further monitor and protect payment rates in the future, to enable families to have an income that provides them with a Minimum Essential Standard of Living, allowing them to avoid poverty.
  2. Develop and expand targeted supports for household types, such as one parent households and households with older children, that consistently demonstrate income inadequacy and a higher rate of poverty.
  3. Include a wider set of indicators, alongside the headline consistent poverty rate, to contribute to the Child Poverty and Wellbeing Programme Office’s annual milestone table, and to capture the multi-dimensional nature of child poverty, depth and persistence of poverty and the increased risk of poverty among certain groups of children.
  4. Include the proportion of core MESL costs met for children at key age-groups as one of the wider indicators to monitor the adequacy of supports.
  5. Develop and monitor the level of support provided by in-work supports, to reduce the risk of poverty for low-income families, with particular focus on reviewing earning thresholds in line with increases in the National Minimum Wage and Social Welfare rates.
  6. Set clear and streamlined targets, commitments, priorities etc., across the Department of Social Protection, the Child Poverty and Wellbeing Programme Office, and all relevant Government bodies, that promote collaboration and transparency when working towards reducing child poverty.