Some 60,000 households will slip below the poverty line by the end of next year, bringing the total number of poor families to 588,000, according to a new report by the national statistics office CBS and the government’s socio-cultural policy unit SCP.
While single parent families and people living on benefits account for the bulk of poor households, an increasing number of people who work as freelancers are also now considered to be poor, the report states.
By the end of next year, one in nine children under the age of 18 will be growing up in a family which has enough for its basic needs, but little else, the report says.
Freelancers now account for 50% of the working poor, compared with 41% 10 years ago. Six out of 10 of them own their own homes.
The two organisations have a different definition of poverty. The SCP uses a definition based on basic needs and minimal savings for recreation and ‘participation in society’ – about €1,000 a month for a single person or €1,880 for a couple with two children. The CBS uses €940 and €1,770 as its cut-off points.
The current minimum wage for an adult is just over €1,400 a month.
Poverty Survey 2011