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29 May 2022

Poverty risk for unemployed would have doubled without Covid income supports - CSO

Poverty risk for unemployed would have doubled without Covid income supports - CSO

Poverty risk for unemployed would have doubled without Covid income supports - CSO

The rate of unemployed people at risk of poverty would have almost doubled without Covid-19 income supports. 

That's according to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2021, released on Friday May 6 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). 

The survey covers topics such as poverty rates, disposable income, difficulty making ends meet and financial difficulties. 

Results found the at-risk-of-poverty rate for unemployed people was 23% last year instead of the 44.1% it would have been without State supports. 

According to today's data, the at-risk-of-poverty rate for employed respondents would have been 11.7% without Covid-19 income supports. 

Younger survey respondents reportedly felt a larger impact from the supports on the risk of poverty. 

The rate for those aged 0-17 years was reduced by almost 11 percentage points from 24.2% without Covid-19 income supports to 13.6%. 

For those aged 65 and over, Covid-19 income supports reduced the at risk of poverty rate from 13.0% to 11.9% (a 1.1 percentage point reduction). 

By household composition, the at-risk-of-poverty rate for people living in one adult households with children was 22.8%, and without Covid-19 income supports this would have been 37.2%. 

The median household disposable income in SILC 2021 was €46,471, an increase of €2,556 from 2020 (€43,915). Without Covid-19 income supports there would have been a 6.2% decrease in year-on-year average household disposable income. 

As part of the survey, households were asked to rate their self-perceived level of difficulty in making ends meet, with the answer options being: ‘with great difficulty’, ‘with difficulty’, ‘with some difficulty’, ‘fairly easily’, ‘easily’, and ‘very easily’. 

Forty two percent of households said they had at least some difficulty in making ends meet in SILC 2021, compared with 46.5% of households in 2020. 

Over 16% of rent-paying households reported (in the 12-month period prior to their date of interview) there was at least one occasion when they did not pay their rent on time due to financial difficulties. 

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