The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Social Inclusion, Joe O’Brien TD, have today published the first Progress Report of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025.
The five year Roadmap is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and sets out a clear path for reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion.
The report, approved by Cabinet yesterday, sets out the progress made in achieving the Roadmap’s goals.
Several of the commitments in the Roadmap have been already delivered by the Government as part of the previous two Budgets.
These include the introduction of additional Parent’s Leave and Parent’s Benefit; the extension of the Hot School Meals Programme; increases to the Qualified Child Payment and increases to the core social welfare rates, which came into effect on January 1st, 2022.
Commenting today, Minister Humphreys said:
“The publication of this report highlights the Government’s commitment to the implementation of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion.
“The Roadmap’s ambition to reduce consistent poverty in Ireland is a priority across Government and is supported by the Programme for Government.
“This report recognises some of the progress that we are making in terms of tackling poverty and increasing social inclusion.
“For example, it highlights measures that we introduced in the last two budgets, which were designed to support families and vulnerable citizens.
“This includes, for example, the decision to increase the rate of payment for qualified children, which is proven to reduce poverty.”
Welcoming this publication, Minister O’Brien said:
“I am pleased to publish the first report on the progress of the ‘Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025.
“The key commitment of the Roadmap; reducing consistent poverty to 2% or less, is a priority for me as minister with responsibility for implementing the Roadmap, and for everyone tasked with delivering initiatives to achieve that commitment.
“Work will continue across Government throughout 2022 in progressing and delivering on the key commitments of the Roadmap.”
Work continued throughout 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic on the delivery of commitments, with a number of them being fully achieved or achieved with delivery continuing, and many others in progress. The delivery of a limited number of commitments is behind schedule, due to the impact of COVID-19 and the need to redeploy staff to frontline services in some areas. Delivery of all commitments remains a Government priority in 2022.
Minister O’Brien added:
“These difficult times have further highlighted the importance of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion and the need for a continued focus on supports and services to reduce poverty levels in Ireland. I am pleased to see that despite the constraints placed on Government Departments over the past 21 months progress on achieving Roadmap targets have remained a priority.”
The report and Report Card are available on https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/be955a-social-inclusion-division/