Ireland lags on in-work poverty
by Mehak Dugal

Almost 42% of Irish households would be unable to meet an unexpected expense of €1,000, according to new research on in-work poverty from the union-supported Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). This compares to an EU average of just 34%.


The think tank’s latest survey on income and living conditions found that well over 80% of single parents couldn’t afford an unexpected financial emergency should one arise. On this measure, Ireland ranked bottom in the EU, 6.4 points behind Bulgaria.


Unexpected expenses refer to emergency repairs, a family funeral, increased insurance costs, or any other unforeseeable expense.


The latest edition of the NERI survey, which links the employment to living standard indicators, focussed on deprivation rates and ability to afford unexpected expenses in order to highlight in-work poverty.


NERI says Ireland fares poorly compared to other EU countries, and that even the share of full-time workers with temporary or permanent contracts unable to meet an unexpected expense is on the rise.


A further study of deprivation rates also highlighted the in-work poverty faced by many employees.


It found that 31% of under-employed people – those who work part-time but want full-time work – suffered material deprivation, defined as the inability to afford two or more of 11 everyday things like a winter jacket, new furniture, or the occasional night out.


The survey showed that material deprivation for every category of worker, even full time staff with permanent contracts, was higher in 2017 than in the years leading up to the financial crisis.


Read the report HERE

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