The great divide: desperate families turning to St Vincent de Paul but consumers set for record Christmas spree

The gaping chasm opening up between the haves and have-nots in Irish society is exposed in a series of stark reports today.

While shoppers prepare for their biggest ever festive splurge, thousands of families are waiting on homes or vital healthcare.

As mortgage approval rates jump again, there are also still large numbers of homes ending up in the hands of corporate investors.

Retailers are hopeful of a buoyant Christmas amid reports that Irish households will spend an average of €2,690 in shops this December.

The Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 from Ibec predicts that after a strong Black Friday, we will spend more than ever this festive season.

Despite the threat of Brexit, many consumers are optimistic of pay rises in the new year.

Mortgage approvals have also jumped, both in terms of volume and value. Irish banks approved a total of 4,262 mortgages in October, up 11.4pc in a month.

But the stark divide is revealed in a Social Justice Ireland report which notes the 700,000 on healthcare waiting lists, 500,000 homes without broadband, and over 11,000 people homeless. It slams Government policy for failing to tackle causes of poverty and inequality.

Its director, Dr Seán Healy, highlighted a "mistaken belief that economic growth will trickle down to benefit everyone in a fair and just manner".

He said this had led to "successive Governments implementing policies that give priority to economic growth over all other areas".

But he added: "Economic growth alone is not enough.

"More is required if we are to have a society which addresses the basic needs and promotes the basic rights of its population."

St Vincent de Paul has also warned of the rise in "hidden poverty" in Ireland with many families forced to turn to it for the first time in 2018.

"The main reasons would be people looking for housing supports, low income earners and then people with health issues," said its call centre lead, Linda Murray.

Meanwhile, Independent.ie can reveal that one in five homes built using Nama funding has been sold to corporate investors - including property investment funds and private equity firms.

More homes have been sold to investors than were utilised for social housing, the new figures reveal.

It also emerges that the vast bulk of properties built using funding from the State bad-bank have been sold in excess of prices considered 'affordable'.

More than a third were sold for prices in excess of €400,000.

independent.ie
record Christmas spree healthcare
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in january
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has called the failure to prosecute 3,000 youth offenders a "humiliating professional failure" for the force. He also apologised to all those who were victims of crimes committed by those who were never prosecuted. An internal report into the force's youth referral scheme found that 7,894 cases where youths were deemed not to be suitable for the diversion programme were not appropriately dealt with over a seven-year period. A...
Crime
Victor Marin Del Sol's children spent a year in Irish schools. A Dublin-based Spanish waiter killed his partner and two Irish-born children in a murder-suicide in Poland just days before Christmas. Two Dublin schools have expressed their shock at the news. Victor Marin Del Sol's three children spent a year in schools in Rathfarnham, before they moved to Poland with their mother. The Irish Independent reports that Marin Del Sol flew to Poland to spend time...
Politics
New laws on hold in Dáil to focus on emergency legislation. Ministers will today agree to essentially freeze work on all new laws as they bid to get ahead of a chaotic no-deal Brexit. Just six pieces of non-Brexit related legislation have made it to the Government's priority list for the new term, the Irish Independent understands. This is an acknowledgement that British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a crushing defeat when the Withdrawal Agreement is pu...
Crime
The incident happened on Ballinteer Avenue in south Dublin at around 6pm on Sunday evening. Four people were arrested after a vehicle crashed into a wall after failing to stop for gardai.The incident happened on Ballinteer Avenue in south Dublin at around 6pm on Sunday evening. Three of the arrested men are in their 20s and were held in Dunrdrum garda station while a fourth (juvenile) was held in Dun Laoghaire.Three of the men are set to appear in court th...
Society
Too early to say when hotel on Leitrim-Roscommon border can open, says Minister. The Minister for Justice has said he is “deeply concerned” following a fire at a former hotel on the Leitrim/Roscommon border that was to open as a centre for asylum seekers. The Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim/Roscommon border had been due to open shortly as a direct-provision accommodation centre for 80 people. However, on Thursday night, the emergency servi...
Society
Life lessons from a man who’s lived a lot of life – without ever dipping into psychobabble. We enter in masses beneath a mighty arch and encounter a stage emblazoned with the words “Leading you to Greatness”. This can mean one of only two things. A man in a uniform is about to shout about his plans for achieving Lebensraum or we’re at one of those motivational events aimed at making miserable people believe they can swim the Atlantic. The presence of Boris...
Society
REPRO FREE NO REPRO FEE Monday, 29th October 2018 Nina Kiernan (12) pictured at the display at Wild Lights in Dublin Zoo. Ireland’s award-winning night-time spectacular will open to the public this Thursday, 1st November and run until Sunday 6th, January from 5pm – 9pm. The event, which sold out in 2017, returns with a brand-new theme, “Ocean of Light” and entirely new cast of silk lanterns. Tickets are available exclusively at Dublinzoo.ie. -ENDS- For mor...
Society
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation claims 2018 was the worst year on record for hospital overcrowding. New analysis from the organisation said 108,227 patients went without hospital beds last year - a record high. The figures are a 9% increase on 2017, which was itself a record high. This is nearly double the number in 2006 (55,720), when INMO records began. The months with the highest figures last year were January (12,201), February (10,772) and...
Society
Iarnród Éireann is launching its first external recruitment process for train drivers.   The company is looking for 100 drivers over four years and says it is very keen to recruit women drivers.   There are only four female train drivers out of a current total of 500 in Iarnród Éireann. Drivers' salaries start at €45,000, going up to €57,000 on a ten-year scale.   It says candidates must meet European Train Driver Licensing requirements, with a minimum of...