Saturday 23 September 2017

Poorest 10pc 'have lost a fifth of their incomes since crash'

The poorest 10pc have lost a fifth of their income, a body has claimed
The poorest 10pc have lost a fifth of their income, a body has claimed
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

THE poorest 10pc of people in Ireland have lost almost a fifth of their disposal income since the crash, it has been claimed.

Social Justice Ireland said the gap between the rich and poor has widened, as those with most money only lost 11.4pc of their spare cash.

The organisation's director, Dr Sean Healy, said low and middle-income Ireland had borne the major brunt of adjustments over the past five years.

"The situation would be even worse if cuts in services and increased charges were included in calculations," he warned.

The think-tank's study claimed budgets introduced under the troika programme were regressive, taking more as a percentage of income from those who have the least.

It also stated the real impact was more regressive because its calculations do not include the impacts of reductions in services and increased charges, which impact disproportionately on the most vulnerable.

"Ireland's poorest 10pc lost 18.4pc of their real disposable income since the start of the crash in 2008," said Dr Healy.

"By contrast the richest 10pc lost 11.4pc.

"The richest 20pc of the population were the only ones whose share of the total disposable income grew significantly in this period.

WIDENING

"This confirms the widening gap between low and middle-income Ireland on the one hand, and the richest 20pc on the other."

Michelle Murphy, research and policy analyst with Social Justice Ireland, said Government did have choices and could have introduced fairer budgets.

"Ireland had to reduce its budget deficit in recent years but research by the IMF shows that how Ireland's Government chose to do this was always likely to produce greater inequality and higher levels of unemployment," she added.

Irish Independent

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