Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, and Minister of State with responsibility for Social Inclusion, Joe O’Brien, have published the second Progress Report of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025.
The 5-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 on Tuesday 18 October 2022, sets out the progress made in achieving the roadmap’s goals during the period October 2021 to June 2022.
Several of the commitments in the roadmap have been already delivered by the government as part of Budget 2022.
These include the extension of Parent’s Leave and Parent’s Benefit to seven weeks; increases to the Working Family Payment income thresholds and the weekly Fuel Allowance rate; and the provision of €109 million to provide free energy upgrades under the Warmer Homes Scheme.
Commenting, Minister Humphreys said:
“The publication of this report highlights the government’s continued commitment to the implementation of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion.
“The Roadmap’s ambition to reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less in Ireland is a priority across Government and supported by the Programme for Government.
“This report recognises the progress that we are making in terms of tackling poverty and increasing social inclusion.
“Given the challenges we faced over the past few years, I think this progress is significant.
“The report highlights budget measures that are designed to support families and vulnerable citizens, for example, increases in the Working Family Payment income threshold which supports working families on low incomes.
“Since this Progress Report was completed, the government has announced the largest social welfare budget in the history of the State, with an additional €2.2 billion in measures to support the most vulnerable.”
Welcoming this publication, Minister O’Brien said:
“I am pleased to publish the second report on the progress of the ‘Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025’.
“Delivery of Roadmap commitments is a priority for me as Minister with responsibility for implementing the Roadmap and I am determined to continue to deliver measures which will bring us towards achieving the Roadmap’s commitment of reducing consistent poverty to 2% or less by 2025.
“This has become even more urgent as the increased costs of living impacts all citizens and particularly vulnerable groups.”
Work has continued on the delivery of commitments, with a number fully achieved or achieved with delivery continuing, and many others in progress. Delivery of all commitments remains a government priority for the remaining duration of the Roadmap.
Minister O’Brien added:
“Work will continue across Government in progressing and delivering on the key commitments of the Roadmap.
“There will be increased focus on further delivery arising from the mid-term review of the Roadmap which is underway.”