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Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – Irish Experience Gerry Mangan Director Social Inclusion Division Department-Social, Family Affairs Ireland.

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Presentation on theme: "Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – Irish Experience Gerry Mangan Director Social Inclusion Division Department-Social, Family Affairs Ireland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – Irish Experience Gerry Mangan Director Social Inclusion Division Department-Social, Family Affairs Ireland

2 Overview Nature and extent of poverty and inequality Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion -the challenges Strategic and “Life Cycle” Approaches National Action Plans and implementation

3 Poverty – Definition for Ireland “People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society.”,

4 Poverty - Measurement Basic Poverty: Irish measure - consistent poverty OECD measure - material deprivation At Risk of Poverty: income below threshold – 60% of average median income, Depth of Poverty: how far are incomes below threshold Persistence of poverty: how long are people in poverty

5 Who are the vulnerable? Children and families – lone parents, larger families Working age – unemployed, youth, people with disabilities, addictions, immigrants, ethnic minorities, travellers, ex prisoners Older persons – living alone, and/or frail, dependent, requiring care from family carers, or in institutions

6 Tackling Poverty or “Poverties” Poverty is multi-faceted and combating it requires a multi-policy approach e.g. Employment & employment supports, Income supports Access to services: education, health, care (for children, elderly, people with disabilities) housing, transport, sports and culture etc Housing and Environmental supports

7 Challenge in 1980s – still the case? “This poverty stemming from the years of economic crisis is like a cancer growing away at our society…..How is it possible to imagine that we have (such high) social protection budgets …..and still we have so many poor people? This is because the poverty of today slips through the meshes of the social protection net….. The fact is this costly system is not doing its task” (Jacques Delors – EU Commission President in 1980s)

8 Social Partnership – Consultation and Engagement Social Partners: 4 pillars – employers, trade unions, farmers, Community and Voluntary Social Partnership: works to get agreement and consensus through negotiations on pay, employment and social provision to meet current challenges Outcome: National agreements on these on which National Action Plan on inclusion is based Social partners then directly involved in the monitoring and evaluation of implementation

9 Strategies to meet challenges Key features of strategies: Analysis of social and economic trends Identify and document challenges, both statistically and through consultation with social partners and other stakeholders Set clear long term goals and objectives Set more short term, time bound targets for meeting goals Clear specific commitments to measures to meet objectives Work to achieve effective implementation, especially through cooperation across Government at national and local levels to achieve better outcomes through more integration Indicators to measure progress in achieving intended outcomes Monitoring & evaluation of implementation, and report annually

10 Evolution of National Anti-Poverty Strategies in Ireland National Anti-Poverty strategy (NAPS) - Ireland’s response to 1995 UN Social Summit in Copenhagen on social development “Sharing in Progress” first 10 year strategic plan for , product of wide public consultation and collaboration of Departments, agencies within Government Similar approach for preparation of more ambitious revised plan, Building an Inclusive Society for National Action Plan for Social Inclusion: specific Chapter on social inclusion in National Development Plan (NDP), based on wider social partnership agreement Towards 2016 EU Open Method of Coordination: National Action Plans to present

11 National Strategies - Current Social Inclusion National Development Plan National Action Plan for Social Inclusion North South co-operation Social Partnership Towards 2016 EU OMC

12 Lifecycle approach in strategies Social Partners agreed a new framework in Towards 2016 based on each stage of the life cycle: – Childhood – People of Working Age – Older People, and, in addition, – People With Disabilities – Communities to address key social challenges. Main purpose: to design and coordinate public services around individuals and their requirements, rather than administrative boundaries

13 Aims of Lifecycle Approach Assists in meeting strategic objectives through More coordinated, holistic approach to policy and more emphasis on individual needs Facilitating and promoting a more “joined up” approach to implementation/delivery Clearer basis for monitoring and for evaluation, and streamlined reporting on progress; Facilitates consultation and communication with social partners and other stakeholders.

14 Main outcomes to be achieved Children: end child poverty,promote and facilitate child development Working Age & People with disabilities: significant reduction in jobless households and provide access to quality services Older people: enable high proportion to live comfortably at home, with access to quality services & residential care, if required

15 Overall Poverty Reduction Target To reduce the number of those experiencing ‘consistent poverty’# to between 2% and 4% by 2012, with the aim of eliminating consistent poverty by 2016, using the revised definition. # - relates to deprivation of certain basic goods and services

16 Children: Key Targets Targeted pre-school education for children in designated areas (mainly disadvantaged); Halve the number of pupils with severe literacy difficulties in primary schools serving disadvantaged communities to less than 15% Ensure more than 90% of those aged have completed upper second level education Maintain value of child income supports at 33-35% of minimum adult social welfare rate

17 Active Inclusion: Key Priority for Adult Lifecycles Essentially about social inclusion through activation, where possible, of those furthest from the labour market, and having three strands: - link to the labour market through jobs, skills - income support for a dignified life, and - better access to quality services, or in UK terms ‘work for those who can, support for those who cannot ‘

18 Why Focus on Employment Best route out of social exclusion – at risk of poverty rate substantially lower for people in work than those not in work Potential for progression and gaining new skills - not available to those out of work Evidence of broader benefits not directly tied to increases in income, including better health and better social contacts

19 Need for Tailored Services People furthest from labour market can face a wide range of barriers Illness/disability/age Lack of key skills Complex family responsibilities Housing/location problems, and Need to develop services that are focussed on the individual, reflect local labour market and other conditions, delivered in partnership

20 Working Age: Key Targets Introduce active case management for all those on long term social welfare - long term unemployed, lone parents, people with disabilities – Support 50,000 into employment, education and training with the aim of reducing by 20%, those totally dependent on long term social welfare Maintain the lowest social welfare rate at least at € in 2007 terms

21 Older People: Key Targets Extension of work life: may include in work training, tackling age discrimination in the work place, and supporting flexible working Continue to invest in community care services to enable older people to remain living in the community Maintain a minimum rate of €200 in 2007 terms for all social welfare pensions and enhance if possible (target E300 per week in Government programme). Pension policy to be informed by Green Paper

22 People with Disabilities: Key Targets Raise participation levels in education, training and employment – Additional 7,000 people in employment by 2010 – Increase employment participation rate to 45% by 2016 – Achieve overall participation rate of 50% in education, training and employment by 2016

23 Communities: Key Targets Increased focus on the local dimension in developing services for social inclusion – Local Government (eg extension of social inclusion units), Community and Voluntary Sector Housing - increase output by 60,000 for those unable to meet their own needs by 2009 Health primary health care teams by 2011 Integration of migrants – Develop overall strategy – Provide an additional 550 teachers for language supports – Improve translation services across public sector

24 Delivery Focus on outcomes Bridge the gap between policy goals, objectives and targets, and implementation Strengthen integrated approaches Ensure both national and local responses Be open to change and ready to close/adapt programmes Accessible and flexible service delivery Monitoring and evaluation of performance Review Milestones (2008, 2010, 2013, 2016)

25 Making it happen! Implementation Structures Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion (chaired by Taoiseach/Prime Minister), with Minister for Social and Family Affairs having main responsibility in Government for social inclusion Senior Officials – mainly policy coordination “Towards 2016” Partnership Steering Group with representatives of social partners Social Inclusion Division – Department of Social and Family Affairs Liaison officers in key Government Ministries Social inclusion units in Local Authorities Social Inclusion Forum – annual conferences with representatives of all stakeholders – last one held on 5 th November Housing Forum Technical Advisory Group – advises on data strategy/indicators

26 Social Inclusion Division Has responsibility for Government’s social inclusion agenda Coordinates development of National Action Plan for inclusion (NAP incl) and other relevant strategies Monitors, evaluates and reports on progress against social inclusion targets in NAP incl Monitors progress being achieved on priorities for Ireland under OMC and prepares reports for the EU Support functions: Communications, Poverty Impact Assessment, Data and Research

27 Annual Social Inclusion Report Review progress of each lifecycle on a systematic basis, drawing together relevant strategies and reports Social partners/other stakeholders consulted and views also reported from partnership and Social Inclusion Forum Assessment of Progress achieved towards set targets and actions Identify new issues, especially of cross cutting nature

28 Poverty: negative impact for both economy and social cohesion “……poverty and inequality are evidence of an inefficient society, which wastes human resources, opportunities and life chances…. (and they)……will also weigh heavily on our capacity to sustain economic growth for years to come.” OECD Secretariat to Ministerial Meeting, 2005.

29 Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion More Information, including latest social inclusion report and strategic plan of Social Inclusion Division on website:


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