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Order of Business
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We spoke recently about the Pobal index on deprivation which was published last week. It shows the areas that are in consistent disadvantage in matters such as employment, education attainment, housing tenure, and lone parent ratio. It is clear that it has not improved over the years. I want to connect it with the statement made by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul today, to which Senator Black referred, regarding the 50,000 families who will seek its help during the winter months. I would hazard an educated guess that most of the families will be in those areas of disadvantage. It is scandalous that we see so many people who find themselves in such a precarious situation and the fact that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul receives around 125,000 calls annually from people who are in this type of poverty trap. We cannot accept it, it is not good enough and we need to have a debate around poverty.
Many of those families will be experiencing the housing crisis that we spoke about. I find it ironic that Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is giving us Oscar-winning performances once a week for the benefit of his YouTube following when his ministerial colleague in government, Deputy Alan Kelly, was very much one of the architects of this crisis.