Govt tackling child poverty, homelessness - ReillyFriday 15 January 2016 15.57
Minister for Children James Reilly has said the Government is concerned about the increase in child poverty and homelessness in Ireland and is tackling the issue.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Reilly said he told the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child yesterday that the Government has identified the problems causing child poverty and homelessness and there is a plan in place to prevent both problems.
Mr Reilly said that €3.8bn has been allocated for housing in the Government’s capital plan so people can avoid homelessness.
He said the best way out of poverty is to have a job and financial independence, which he said, would release more resources for the Government to reinvest back in services like healthcare, social protection and child care.
"The heart of all this was the economic crash. The Government's plan for recovery is what is giving us the resources now as a recovery takes hold to address these issues," said Mr Reilly.
Yesterday in Geneva, the UN top body put a spotlight on Ireland's children's rights record with the State's delegation led by Mr Reilly.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Children Robert Troy has criticised the Government's handling of housing provision for children.
"Far too many children have been left behind by this Government," said Mr Troy.
"The Government's dismal record on housing provision is creating a whole cohort of children growing up without a fixed abode.
"In 2013 a total of 20 families were becoming homeless in Dublin alone every month - in the last few months this more than tripled to over 70 families.
"The experience of homelessness and constant disruption is having a profoundly damaging effect on these children's development and raises significant child protection issues," he said.