The struggle to make ends meet on an inadequate income, both in and out of work, is one of the main reasons people request help from the SVP.
We believe that poverty is not inevitable. Social welfare payments and supports and their interaction with tax measures and wages can all be designed and delivered in ways that help people to reach their full potential, rather than creating poverty traps.
The Vincentian Partnership for Justice has carried out research on the amount of income needed for different household types to be able to afford their minimum essential needs. This research found that the cost of a minimum essential standard of living varies across the lifecycle, and that many households – both those in work and those who are on social welfare - cannot afford to meet their minimum needs. For further information see www.budgeting.ie.
Over-indebtedness and financial exclusion are major issues for people on low incomes. Many people on a low income pay more for goods and services because they cannot access mainstream financial products, including basic bank accounts or affordable credit. This often means that people who can afford it least, turn to expensive sources of credit such as moneylenders and catalogues.
A living income in and out of work and access to affordable credit are key policy issues which SVP is highlighting.