Welcome to your European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland NewsFlash for July 2023.
In this month’s edition you’ll find the latest news from EAPN Ireland, including our recent submissions and publications.
We also have updates from several of our members, including key reports, updates and calls to action, as well as the latest position paper and two new reports from EAPN Europe.
EAPN IRELAND NEWS:
PRE-BUDGET 2024 SUBMISSION
EAPN Ireland’s Pre-Budget 2024 Submission, calls for the prioritisation of measures which enable Ireland to meet its anti-poverty commitments, and for Budget 2024 to address not only the immediate impact of the cost-of-living crisis but also the root causes of poverty and social exclusion. This must involve commitments to income adequacy, alongside adequate investment in public services and supports, delivered through long term investment and progressive realisation.
BENCHMARKING OF WORKING AGE PAYMENTS SUBMISSION
We provided input on the issue of the potential application of a benchmarking approach to working age payments. Our priority for any reform of Ireland’s social protection system is that it should address income adequacy. As such, all rates of social protection payments should be benchmarked against a level that is adequate to lift people above the poverty line and provide them with a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL).
SIF 2023 PREPARATORY WORKSHOPS REPORT
The Social Inclusion Forum 2023 Preparatory Workshops Key Messages Report outlines key issues and suggested solutions emerging from the in-person and online preparatory workshops organised by Community Work Ireland and EAPN Ireland. As highlighted by participants, many of the issues that impact on poverty for different groups and communities are interconnected and need a response across Government, something some saw as lacking.
PUBLICATION: ‘IRELAND’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE EU’S ROLE IN TACKLING POVERTY’
We recently published ‘Irelands Contribution to the EU’s Role in Tackling Poverty’ to coincide with our conference of the same name, held on 29th May 2023 to mark 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the EU. It reflects on EU developments in the fight against poverty and social exclusion since Ireland joined in 1973, assessing how Ireland has contributed and benefitted over that time, in order to draw lessons for the future. This event was funded with assistance from the Communicating Europe Initiative and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
VINCENTIAN MESL RESEARCH CENTRE – ANNUAL UPDATE 2023
The Vincentian MESL Research Centre recently published its 2023 Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) update. The MESL expenditure data serves as a benchmark to assess the adequacy of social welfare supports and the national minimum wage. The update captures the change in the cost of the minimum basket of goods and services required to enable a socially acceptable minimum standard of living, and shows that there has been considerable increase in the cost of a MESL across all household types.
TASC – THINK-TANK FOR ACTION ON SOCIAL CHANGE
TASC recently launched its annual inequality report, ‘The State We Are In: Inequality in Ireland 2023’. This report examines inequality in Ireland, the ongoing cost of living problems, and the distributional impact of inflation. It also attempts to chart a way forward.
THE DISABILITY FEDERATION OF IRELAND
The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is asking the public to take action as services for disabled people are threatened by a crisis in the recruitment and retention of staff in Section 39 funded disability organisations. Find out more and get involved here.
IRISH REFUGEE COUNCIL
The Irish Refugee Council recently launched ‘Now I live on the road’, a report highlighting the impact of homelessness on people seeking international protection in Ireland and the unsafe conditions people seeking protection have endured since January.
IRISH NATIONAL ORGANISATION OF THE UNEMPLOYED
The INOU recently published its 29th “Working for Work” handbook for people who are unemployed and those providing information services to unemployed people and others of working age. It outlines people’s rights and entitlements with regard to social protection supports and services; provides information on activation supports and programmes; and describes what is available for people making the welfare to work journey.
EAPN EUROPE NEWS:
EAPN POSITION PAPER: ENERGY POVERTY IN THE GREEN TRANSITION & COST OF LIVING CRISIS
EAPN Europe’s Review on Energy Poverty 2022 presents its analysis on energy poverty in the context of the green transition and the cost-of-living crisis. It provides an overview of EU level green transition activities, highlighting EAPN’s input and reactions in relation to the impact for those experiencing or at risk of energy poverty.
EAPN REPORT: 20TH EUROPEAN MEETING OF PEOPLE EXPERIENCING POVERTY
Under the title The Unbearable Cost of Living, the 20th European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty took place in November 2023, and brought together 175+ participants, including national delegations of people experiencing poverty from 30 countries, policymakers, and representatives of European NGOs working towards eliminating poverty. The event was the last step in a year long participatory process where EAPN members had the opportunity to speak up and present their political priorities in three key areas: cost of energy, cost of food, and cost of housing.
EAPN EU POVERTY WATCH 2022
The EU Poverty Watch 2022 captures the main findings, messages and recommendations from 24 national Poverty Watch reports produced by EAPN members last year, including the realities for people experiencing poverty beyond the data, and recommendations on how to make our societies poverty-free and resilient to crises. This edition focuses on the multiple relentless crises that have exacerbated poverty and inequalities, recognising that these are unequal times of crises. These crises have exacerbated pre-existing, structural and systemic deficiencies and call for strong structural responses.