Green Party TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Social Inclusion, Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien, has welcomed the launch of the Social Inclusion Roadmap Steering Group this morning. The Steering Group aims to reduce the number of people in consistent poverty in Ireland to 2% or less, increase social inclusion for people who are most disadvantaged, and make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU.
As Chair of the group, Minister O’Brien outlined the Government’s commitment to tackle social inclusion in its opening meeting, which was held virtually:
“The Programme for Government is committed to implementing Social Inclusion Roadmap and, as we continue to face the many challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government will build to improve outcomes for individuals and families who are struggling on low incomes. I will also be asking the Steering Group to examine the issue of food poverty.
“The context has changed considerably since the Roadmap was published in January. Not just in the context of Covid, but also a new Programme for Government with additional commitments in the area of social inclusion. The principles of just transition and climate justice need to guide this roadmap and its development as a live document.”
Minister O’Brien also spoke of the need for a concerted effort across Government to achieve significant reductions in poverty rates and to increase peoples’ access to resources and services. He acknowledged the scale of the challenge, stating that “the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in significant societal changes affecting the daily lives of everyone, as well as dramatic changes in employment levels”.
The Minister is looking forward to working with the Steering Group in addressing the many areas of poverty currently experienced by many families and children in Ireland at this time.
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