Social Democrats pledge to end child poverty by 2021
Joint leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall has launched the party's plan to end child poverty within five years.
The party has called for future budgets to be "poverty proofed" and wants to develop a new "anti-poverty strategy" within the first 100 days of the next government, which would contain "clear targets, timeframes and lines of responsibility".
Ms Shortall, left, said that over 130,000 children in Ireland now live in consistent poverty, which represents a doubling of the 2008 figure, and called for the issue to be put at the centre of the political agenda.
"We have a duty to ensure that every child gets a good start," she added.
Fellow Social Democrat candidate Liam Coyne was highly critical of the Coalition, saying, "If you leave government and the most vulnerable people are worse than when you came in, then you have failed and you need to go."