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Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 25 April 2007

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Ceisteanna (65)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

68 Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the programmes and policies his Department will introduce to reduce consistent poverty rates among people of working age with reference to high level goal 2 of his Department’s annual output statement; the target level to which he aims to reduce consistent poverty of this age group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15313/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Family)

Last month, I presented the first Annual Output Statement for my Department to the Select Committee on Social and Family Affairs as part of its consideration of the 2007 Estimates. In brief, the Annual Output Statement is a top level report linking the Department's financial allocations with the high level goals of the strategy statement and specified business objectives for the year. It also identifies key impact or outcome indicators for each high level strategic goal. In this regard, consistent poverty rates for people of working age are identified as an impact indicator for the goal relating to people of working age.

The relevant high-level goal is as follows:

"To provide income supports and access to relevant services to people of working age who cannot secure an income (or an adequate income) from employment and facilitate them in taking up relevant employment, training, education or development opportunities as appropriate.

A range of key programmes and policies are identified in the Annual Output Statement to achieve this goal. The new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007–2016 (NAPinclusion) was launched in February with an overall goal to make a decisive impact on consistent poverty. This is underlined by the fact that a new target is being set, using an updated set of indicators, to reduce the number of persons experiencing consistent poverty in the population as a whole, including those of working age, to between 2 per cent and 4 per cent by 2012, with the aim of eliminating consistent poverty by 2016, under the revised definition of consistent poverty. Combating poverty and social inclusion has been a key priority for this Government. We will continue to face these challenges in the years ahead. Significant and visible progress has been made over the last 10 years, not least our success in tackling unemployment levels. I am confident that we can continue to achieve a similar scale of progress in the coming years towards achieving that decisive impact on poverty.

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