Child Poverty Conference sparks Irish Parliament debate

The Children's Rights Alliance organised a conference on child poverty, which sparked a discussion in the Houses of Parliament by the Minister for Social Protection.

Jana Hainsworth, Eurochild; Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children; Leo Varadkar Minister for Social Protection; Tanya Ward, Children's Rights Alliance

The Children's Rights Alliance organised a conference on child poverty, which sparked a discussion in the Houses of Parliament by the Minister for Social Protection. 

In a Dáil (Irish Parliament) debate on 30 June 2016, the Minister for Social Protection Dr Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“I attended a very good conference on child poverty last week, organised by the Children's Rights Alliance. All of the NGOs and groups there were of the same opinion, namely, when it comes to cash transfers such as child benefit and benefit payments, Ireland actually has among the highest payments in the EU. Where we fall down badly is on services, such as child care, and because people on low incomes have to pay to see their doctor, when they do not have to do so in other countries. I will, of course, be looking for measures in the budget that increase income supports targeted at those who need them the most, but the real focus has to be on improving services and also on getting people into work. No welfare payment can compete with a well-paid job. We need more people in work and we need to focus particularly on services. An extra €5 a month in child benefit costs €60 million but €60 million invested in speech and language or early intervention in child care goes so much further when it comes to the alleviation of poverty”

Eurochild supports national members to hold advocacy events to build momentum for implementation of children's rights locally or nationally. 

  • More about "Making child poverty policies real" here
  • Read the press release calling for joint action here