Sunday 23 April 2017

Peter Power: As global inequality spirals, wealthy nations are failing children living on edge of poverty

Children in Ireland have the highest income poverty and material deprivation rates of all groups (even the over 65s). Photo: Karel Miragaya
Children in Ireland have the highest income poverty and material deprivation rates of all groups (even the over 65s). Photo: Karel Miragaya

Peter Power

The recent global debate about rising inequality seems focused on the accumulation of wealth at the very top. While this is a serious problem requiring urgent attention, it can distract attention from the devastating, and arguably more important, issue of inequality amongst those at the bottom. This is where inequality seriously diminishes the chances in life for the most vulnerable global citizens - children.

When we turn our attention to "bottom end" inequality, i.e. the gap between the lowest 10pc and the median, we get a fuller picture of how the most disadvantaged in society are falling further away from the promise of a decent life in the middle.

This increasing gap is just as significant as the gap between the wealthiest 1pc and everyone else.

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