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GOVERNMENT GIVES SOCIAL JUSTICE A LOW PRIORITY

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16/09/2012

Ireland has fallen so low in terms of social justice that the well-being of financial investors in failed banks is being placed at a higher priority than the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, children at school and the elderly, according to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

In the Autumn edition of The SVP Bulletin published this week the Society, pursuing its role of seeking social justice and equality of all citizens, says it has a duty to question the Government's commitment to social justice. According to the editorial in the SVPs quarterly national magazine of social justice, Ireland has fallen to a level where its people appear secondary to financiers?

Facing into the Autumn brings the reality of austerity imposed on the people and its effects on many families who, increasingly, are finding it difficult to make ends meet, are fearful about the future and the threat of more taxation at a time when they do not have enough money, when their incomes do not meet outgoings and families are suffering from more worry and stress as a result,” according to the Society which is receiving more requests for help than ever before.

In assessing the Government's performance in protecting the most vulnerable SVP National Director, Kieran Murphy writes; “Because of the choices the Government is making to comply with the demands of our international funders; the Troika, it is clear that it cannot meet the reasonable expectations to protect the most vulnerable and are unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future."

SVP National President Geoff Meagher says "While SVP volunteers cannot solve the many financial problems that come our way, we give time and hope. We are the only organisation in Ireland who are invited into people's homes on a regular basis. Our 10,000+ volunteers have the responsibility of seeking to care for and support the many thousands of people they meet with low income, poor health, educational disadvantage, relationship breakdown, bereavement, addiction, violence, loneliness, disability, debt, unemployment and many other challenges. Alternatives must be found to cutting the income supports and services which those who experience poverty and economic stress rely on."

Also in The SVP Bulletin Caroline Fahey, SVP Social Policy Development Officer highlights the imbalance in Irish society by comparing two areas in Dublin, a section of the north inner city and an avenue in the suburb of Blackrock, using the latest CSO figures. In one 65% of families with children are headed by lone mothers. In the other the figure is just 21%. For owner occupied housing the figures are 0% and 63%. And in terms of education 17% in one area and 34% in the other, have a degree, professional or postgraduate qualification.