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14,000 can’t afford two pairs of shoes

Overall poverty has been going down since 2014

There were 14,329 people who could not afford two pairs of shoes in 2017, but everyone can now afford a washing-machine, colour television and phone or mobile phone – at least according to the responses received for an annual survey.

There were fewer people living in poverty in 2017 compared with a year earlier, with decreases of 2.3 percentage points in material deprivation and of 1.1 percentage point in severe material deprivation – the two main definitions used in the European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions.

A household is deemed to be materially deprived if it does not afford at least three of the nine deprivation items, and severely materially deprived if it does not afford at least four.

In 2017, the material deprivation rate stood at 8 per cent (34,596), whereas the severe material deprivation rate stood at 3.3 per cent (14,393).

The figures released on Tuesday by the National Statistics Office show that the two rates increased between 2007 and 2014, when they then started to drop.

Children under 18 were the most badly affected, with one in 10 living in a conditions of material deprivation, and one in 20 in a state of severe material deprivation.

Pensioners were the least affected group, with 6.9 per cent being materially deprived and only 2.2 per cent being severely deprived.

THE FACTORS, AND HOW MANY CANNOT AFFORD THEM:

Can’t face unexpected financial expenses – 67,836
Can’t afford a one-week annual holiday – 147,059
Behind with payments – 25,017
Can’t afford meat or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day – 25,893
Can’t keep house warm enough in winter – 28,565
Can’t afford washing machine - 0
Can’t afford colour television - 0
Can’t afford phone/mobile phone - 0
Can’t afford car – 7,310

The survey also looked at other indicators and found that in households where people over 16 were living, less than 5 per cent could not replace worn out clothes with new, or owned two pairs of properly fitting shoes.

There were 14,329 who said that they could not afford two pairs of shoes, and a further 6,886 who said they did not have two pairs but for ‘other reasons’.

It also showed that 7.2 per cent did not go out for a drink or meal with family or friends at least once a month. This represents 25,941 who said that it was because could not afford it, and a further 33,989 who said this was due to ‘other reasons’.

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