Latest income surveys show that poverty is rising among people with disabilities and carers
More than one in five people not at work due to illness or disability were at risk of poverty in Ireland last year.
That’s according to the latest Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), published yesterday, which shows that poverty levels are rising among people with disabilities and carers.
It also revealed that families where the head of the household is not at work due to illness or disability faced the lowest average disposable income of all demographic groups in 2014, standing at €20,546, a 40% drop on the State average of €34,351.
The ‘at risk of poverty’ rate among those not at work due to illness or disability jumped from 18.1% in 2013 to 22.8% in 2014, while 13.2% of the same group were living in consistent poverty in 2014, compared to 10.8% in 2013.
Meanwhile, over half – or 51.3% – of people not at work due to illness or disability were living in deprivation in 2014, a stark and significant difference to the 29% State average. Those living in deprivation experience difficulty in affording basic essentials, such as adequate heating, warm winter clothes and meals with meat or fish every second day, as well as replacing worn-out furniture, affording an afternoon or evening out, and more.
Director of Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT), Martin Naughton, said, “Economic and social recovery must reach everyone, but this is abjectly failing to happen; these latest statistics bear witness to the reality that we, as people and families with disabilities, recognise and are living every day. New approaches which listen to the voices of the disability community and which work to meaningfully improve our living standards and prosperity must, without question, be supported and implemented to turn these figures and our reality in the right direction”.