Religious Group Slams Budget

A leading religious pressure group has hit out at the Budget claiming "the Government has failed to protect the vulnerable".

The Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI) published their scathing analysis of the Budget today, in which they claim low earners and children lose out, and will be the hardest hit.

In their highly detailed report, the group focused on the plight of the "working poor", whose wages barely surpass the poverty line.

According to their report, 30% of all households at risk of poverty in Ireland are headed by someone with a job working at or below the minimum wage.

The report said: "30% of all households at risk of poverty in Ireland are headed by a person with a job. These are the 'working poor'. Many of these paid no tax because their incomes were outside the tax net in 2008.

"Following Budget 2009 they will pay a levy of 1% on every Euro they earn. In practice this means that a person (or couple) on €15,000 will be €150 a year worse off. A person (or couple) on €25,000 will be €250 worse off as a result of Budget 2009."

The report also highlights the effect the budget will have on children living around the poverty line, and argues that the changes made will see families loose income.

The group said: "The failure to raise Child Benefit payments means that the value of this payment will fall by 2.5% per cent in real terms in 2009. This will have a negative impact on ‘working poor’ households.

"Even with the changes introduced in the Family Income Supplement many working poor households will see their standard of living fall in 2009. As a result of the changes introduced in Budget 2009 there will be no reduction on Ireland’s extensive child poverty."


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