Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Poverty Impact Assessment
58. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the social welfare Estimates are poverty proofed each year; if not, her plans to poverty proof same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50351/19]
The revised estimates volume for my Department contains context and impact indicators including three with a specific poverty focus: the at-risk-of poverty rate before social transfers; the at-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers and the consistent poverty rates.
The most recent poverty data from the 2018 Survey on Income and Living Conditions was published by the CSO on 28 November 2019. It shows that social transfers (excluding pensions) continued to perform strongly in reducing the at-risk-of-poverty rate, from 30.2% before social transfers to 14% after social transfers. This equates to a poverty reduction effect of 54% in 2018; ensuring Ireland remains one of the best performing EU countries in reducing poverty through social transfers.
The 2018 consistent poverty rate was 5.6%, down from 6.7% in 2017. This is the lowest rate since 2009 (when the rate was 5.5%).
My Department also undertakes ex-ante and ex-post social impact assessments of the main welfare and direct tax budgetary policies. The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is an evidence-based methodology which estimates the likely distributive effects of policies on household incomes, families and poverty. The analysis is generated through the ESRI’s tax/benefit micro-simulation model, SWITCH. The model simulates the impact of budgetary changes on a representative sample of households from the CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions. Social impact assessments using SWITCH are also used in relation to potential policy options and to assess the cumulative impact of budgetary policies.