Working poor must not be forgotten

The government must commission an immediate investigation into why more than 100,000 people who get up early in the morning to go to work live in poverty, Renua Ireland has warned.
The party was commenting on the latest Social Justice Ireland on poverty. ‘‘The revelation that the number of working poor has risen consistently since 2009 is an indictment of how Ireland has been systemically misgoverned.
“The absence of hope and opportunity for those people is not an accident. Work should be a road out of debt and the provider of real opportunities for personal and social improvement. Instead, Ireland taxes and penalises working people and incentivises those who are on the social welfare to stay there.
“We need a commission to report within a month on how employment will represent an open-gate for those who work to escape from poverty not a roadmap into it. These latest figures are another case study into how our modest prosperity is very modest indeed.
Actions such as fundamental tax reform are now required to end the spectacle where working people who earn the minimum wage are taxed at a higher rate than millionaires.
We also need to ensure real equity in areas such as the provision of creche services, affordable housing and health-care for those who work.
Full employment is not a policy success if it does nothing to improve in a real way the lives of those citizens who pay their taxes.”