Latest EU SILC data says number of two parent families living in enforced deprivation almost doubles from last year

Nearly one in two one parent families living in enforced deprivation.

Posted on Wednesday 23 November 2022 in Press Releases

Barnardos children’s charity said the statistics released today by the Central Statistics Office demonstrate the increasing number of families falling into deprivation as a result of cost of living increases.

In particular, the statistics further demonstrate the vulnerability of one parent families facing poverty, with almost half (45%) of one parent families living in deprivation. More than one in five one parent families (22%) reported being unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm. As a member of the National One Parent Family Alliance Barnardos is concerned about children in one parent families living in deprivation and is calling on the Government for this need to be recognised with cost of living measures using targeted resources.

It is alarming to see rates of deprivation increase so significantly for families, indicating that more children are going without. Enforced deprivation has increased in two parent families[1] from just over one in ten last year (10.7%) to almost one in five this year (18.2%), potentially meaning almost twice as many children are living in households having to go without. One in eight of these families stated they are unable to afford new clothes.

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: ‘We know from the families we support that this year the cost of living has brought about unprecedented financial challenges. Many families have resorted to drastic measures to provide children with essentials, such as heating, food and electricity. Parents have consistently reported having to cut back and go without, such as skipping meals, detailed the toll of financial pressures and the strain it is placing on them. Our staff are focusing more energy than ever on supporting the practical difficulties families face as a result of not having sufficient income.

“We see first-hand the impact deprivation has on children’s lives and their families around them. It can exasperate additional adversities such as parental mental health issues, parental substance use and increase parental tensions. And it can make addressing those issues all the more difficult and unfortunately take time and resources away from being concentrated on their children.

“We welcomed measures set out in Budget 2023 to support families. However, the majority were once off short term measures and will have done little to pull families out of deprivation in the longer term.

“There is a risk that the impact of many of the measures introduced in the budget will wear off quickly in the new year. It is vital the government monitors the situation closely and introduces additional measures quickly if it is clear families continue to struggle and children continue to go without. As part of this it is imperative Government engages and speaks to low income parents across the country.

“We know that childhood lasts a lifetime. Research continues to show that the longer that children go without a bigger and impact it has on their current and future wellbeing and development, in particularly around health, education and employment.”

[1] With one to three children.


Notes to editors:

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Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC): Enforced Deprivation 2022.