Public Consultation On Poverty Launched

Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton, is launching a public consultation in the hope of engaging Ireland in reducing and eliminating poverty.

The public consultation process is to be undertaken by her Department as part of the review of the national poverty target.

The purpose of the review is to enable the Government to adopt appropriate and achievable national poverty targets to meet Ireland’s contribution to Europe 2020.

Another key element of the consultation is to get the views of people experiencing poverty from across the country.

It is estimated that the review is to be completed by November 2011.

Minister Burton said: "I am inviting the public to have its say on the review of the national poverty target. It is vital that there is widespread public support for the national poverty target, so that all elements of society are engaged in the common aim of reducing and eliminating poverty."

The Minister is particularly keen to hear the views of people experiencing poverty and the groups that work with people in poverty.

"While Ireland is in the midst of a major economic and fiscal crisis, it is important that we keep in mind the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in society" the Minister continued.

The national poverty target is aimed at providing a key reference point in developing economic and social policies. It also the means by which we contribute to the new European poverty target, which aims to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion by 2020.

In order to carry out the public consultation a series of four workshops in local community venues will take place where people can have their say on the current poverty targets and how a new poverty target can be achieved. These workshops will take place in September at local venues in Cork, Donegal, Dublin and Galway.

In addition an online survey will be carried out in order to collect the views of the public on the current poverty target and how this target can be strengthened in the future.

The survey will be hosted on www.socialinclusion.ie. It will remain open until 30th September.


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