Almost 100,000 children live in families dependent on FIS
Posted on May 06, 2015 by Micheál Collins
The current focus on low pay and precarious work practices has set the scene for the work of the recently formed Low Pay Commission in the Republic of Ireland. One aspect of their work will be to look at the number of individuals trapped in low pay, many of whom are dependent on the social protection system to underpin their ability to make ends meet.
A fascinating insight into the experience of those working but also in need of state support was outlined in an interesting policy briefing entitled ‘Work, Jobs and Unemployment’ published recently by Social Justice Ireland. Table 4 of that document tracks the rise in the number of families, the numbers of children within those families, and the overall cost of Family Income Supplement (FIS) since 2003.
Over that time, the cost of FIS has risen from €45m to €261m per annum with the number of families increasing from 12,300 to just over 44,000. The latest data, for 2013, show that there are almost 100,000 children living in these FIS supported families.
While the recession is bound to account for some of this increase, and hopefully any recovery should begin to reduce it, the scale of the numbers are stark and point to more fundamental issues facing working families around pay, hours, childcare among others. Further food for thought as the low pay debate continues to unfold.