Minister Doherty publishes Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025


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Minister Doherty publishes Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025
 
Plan to reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less and
make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU
 
 
 
Tuesday, 14 January, 2020
 
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today published the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025: Ambition, Goals, Commitments which sets out the Government’s ambition for Ireland to become one of the most socially inclusive States in the EU, defines a number of specific targets to be achieved and details a number of key commitments to deliver on this ambition and these targets. 
 
Building on the work of its predecessors, the Roadmap aims to reduce the number of people in consistent poverty in Ireland to 2% or less and to position Ireland within the top five countries in the EU under a number of leading social inclusion measures. 
 
This approach, Minister Doherty said, provides for the monitoring of Ireland’s relative ranking within the EU which contributes to the overarching ambition of the Roadmap for Ireland to be one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU.
 
Previous action plans for Social Inclusion focused, correctly, on the avoidance or reduction of poverty. The Roadmap retains this core objective and goes further.  It expands the ambition of what the State should seek to achieve by focusing on improving social inclusion. This recognises that a person’s well-being is not something that can be measured simply by reference to relative income measures but needs to be considered in the round – taking account of housing, health, community, education and family considerations.
 
Towards this end, the Roadmap sets out:
 
  • seven high level goals;
 
  • 22 specific targets to be achieved;
 
  • 66 key commitments to be delivered across all of Government.
 
The Roadmap will, in addition, act as a reference point and framework for the renewal and development of future sectoral strategies.
 
Minister Doherty stated:
 
I am very pleased to have received Government approval for this Roadmap which I know has been keenly awaited by many people in the community and voluntary sector who work tirelessly with those experiencing poverty and social exclusion.  It is the Government’s intention that the commitments in this Roadmap will reduce the number of people in consistent poverty in Ireland and help to make our society more inclusive for everybody.  This is reflected in the Roadmap’s ambition to reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less and to make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU”.
 
The Roadmap builds on the range of sectoral plans and strategies already in place that have social inclusion as a core objective, in areas such as education, health, children and young people, community development and housing and sets the framework within which these will be renewed in the future.   
 
Minister Doherty added:
 
“Already each Government Department is required to address poverty reduction and social inclusion in the development of their own sectoral strategies. This Roadmap, with the clear ambition it establishes and the targets that it specifies, provides clear and unambiguous objectives against which these plans will be considered in the future.
 
“It is a clear statement of intention by the Government that the gains we have seen in the Irish economy in recent years must be shared across all members of society.” 
 
Referring to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions data published by the Central Statistics Office in November 2019 - which showed a decrease in the consistent poverty rate to 5.6% for 2018 - the Minister said that, while there had been a considerable reduction in the percentage of the population experiencing consistent poverty, there is still “some way to go to meet the target of 2% or less.  We know that it will be a challenge but it is one that this Government is determined to reach and is confident that it can be met.”
 
The Roadmap introduces an expanded set of targets against which progress can be measured and which allows for the monitoring of Ireland’s progress relative to other EU Member States.  These targets cover income poverty, income distribution, housing quality, socio-economic aspects of living conditions and social participation and integration.
 
The Minister welcomed the introduction of this expanded set of targets, adding:
 
“These new targets demand progress against a number of key aspects of social inclusion such as housing, healthcare, early learning and care and social integration.  They move the focus towards what we, as a society, want to achieve.  We want improved outcomes for the people we know who are struggling including those on low incomes, those who find it hard to make the move into employment because of the difficulties and cost of juggling caring responsibilities with work, those who are in poor health or living with a disability and those who are raising their families alone, amongst others.”
 
The Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025: Ambition, Goals, Commitments is available online at www.welfare.ie and www.gov.ie. 
 
A Social Inclusion Roadmap Steering Group, to be chaired by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, is being established to monitor and oversee the implementation and progression of the Roadmap. This group will comprise senior representatives of responsible Departments. The Steering Group will also include at least two external members.
 
The Roadmap will have a five year timeframe with a mid-term review at the mid-point, in Quarter 4 2022.  The review will examine progress on actions, any changes in the poverty and social inclusion indicators and the outcomes achieved at the mid-term point.  Based on its findings, the review may include recommendations for further actions or revised actions for the remaining years of the Roadmap.
 
ENDS
 
Note for Editors
 
Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025: Ambition, Goals, Commitments
 
The Roadmap delivers on the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to develop a new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, to tackle inequality and poverty.  It is the successor to the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion which concluded at the end of 2017 and is the latest in a series of such plans dating back to 1997.
 
The Roadmap will build on the work of its predecessors with the aim of reducing the number of people in consistent poverty in Ireland and increasing social inclusion for those who are most disadvantaged.  This is reflected in its clearly stated ambition to: “Reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less and to make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU”.
 
The Roadmap translates this ambition into seven goals underpinned by 66 unique commitments (actions) to be taken to help deliver these goals.  These unique commitments have been developed with relevant Departments and agencies and following consultation with advocacy and civil society groups.
 
 
 
 
 
Seven Goals under the Roadmap for Social Inclusion, 2020-2025
 
 
Goals
1
Give everyone who can work the opportunity of employment as a means to improve their well-being
2
To ensure that workers are treated fairly and paid fairly and that the work continues to be the best route to social inclusion
3
To protect the incomes of older people through the delivery of the commitment to benchmark State pension payments
4
To reduce child poverty in Ireland and to ensure that all families have the opportunity to participate fully in society
5
Improve social inclusion of people with disabilities by reducing poverty rates, improving employment outcomes and delivering better results
6
Empower communities to address social exclusion
7
To ensure that all people can live with confidence that they have access to good quality healthcare, housing, energy and food
 
 
Structure of the Roadmap
 
Chapter 1: Our Ambition for Social Inclusion
Chapter 2: Expanding the Opportunity of Employment
Chapter 3: Supporting Workers and Families - Ensuring Work Pays
Chapter 4: Supporting Older People – Assuring Their Income
Chapter 5: Supporting Families and Children
Chapter 6: Supporting People with Disabilities
Chapter 7: Supporting Communities
Chapter 8: Core Essentials:  Healthcare, Housing, Energy and Food
Chapter 9: Implementation and Governance  
Implementation and Monitoring
 
Definition of Social Inclusion
The Roadmap includes a new definition of social inclusion to clearly identify what is to be achieved:
 
 “Social Inclusion is achieved when people have access to sufficient income, resources and services to enable them to play an active part in their communities and participate in activities that are considered the norm for people in society generally.”
 
This definition follows on from the long-standing definition of poverty and social exclusion from the 1997 National Anti-Poverty Strategy; the definition of Social Exclusion set out in the Partnership 2000 agreement; the definition of poverty and social exclusion reflected in the Europe 2020 strategy and the Active Inclusion approach adopted by the European Union.  These recognise that a person’s experience and understanding of well-being is influenced by that of society generally and that well-being cannot be measured by a single income-related metric.
 
Measuring Social Inclusion and Tracking Progress
The targets against which progress will be measured are set out in Tables 1A and 1B of the Roadmap.
 
Table 1A outlines the expanded set of measures which include a headline measure for the reduction of the share of the population at risk of poverty and social exclusion (AROPE).  The measures also include the AROPE rate for children and for people with disabilities as well as measures covering:
 
  • Income distribution (the income quintile share ratio)
  • Income poverty
  • Housing quality
  • Socio-economic aspects of living conditions
  • Social participation and integration
 
Table 1B includes the national measures which include the retention of the National Social Target for Poverty Reduction (to reduce the percentage of the population in consistent poverty to 2% or less) with a revised timeframe of 2025 and the child poverty sub-target.
 
When considered as a whole, this data will provide a picture of Ireland’s performance in ensuring the social inclusion of all its citizens.
 
This expanded approach also provides for the monitoring of Ireland’s relative ranking within the EU which contributes to the overarching ambition of the Roadmap for Ireland to be one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU.  The ranking is based on the annual performance of each EU Member State (the EU-28 excluding the UK) against a number of measures from data collected through the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions. 
 
ENDS
 
The following supporting documentation is available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website www.welfare.ie and on the Government website (www.gov.ie).
 
 
Last modified:14/01/2020