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Childhood poverty casts an irreversible shadow - the Government has been warned

Colette Browne


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Past becomes the future: A child sleeps on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin. Now is the time for our politicians to pay heed to children

Past becomes the future: A child sleeps on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin. Now is the time for our politicians to pay heed to children

Past becomes the future: A child sleeps on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin. Now is the time for our politicians to pay heed to children

COVID-19 may not pose a deadly threat to children's health, but the lives of the most vulnerable children may yet be permanently blighted by the virus.

Yesterday, the ESRI published an alarming new study. It found that without an economic recovery this year, nearly one-in-four children could be left living in poverty. Even a partial economic recovery this year would still see a big increase in child poverty rates, to nearly 20pc.

We know the threat of recession to children's wellbeing is acute as we've been here before - quite recently. After the financial crash a decade ago, the proportion of children living in deprived households reached a staggering 32pc. It has taken the intervening 10 years for child poverty rates to return to pre-recession levels, with much of that progress now at risk of being rapidly undone in a few short months.