Printer Friendly

CELTIC TIGER TRAILS BEHIND IN CLUB OF RICH NATIONS.

IRELAND'S 'Celtic Tiger' economy was mauled in a UN poverty report yesterday.

We have the second highest level of poverty in the industrial world outside the USA.

For the second year in a row, Ireland is ranked 16 out of 17 western countries in the UN Human Development Report.

And the country comes 20th overall in a quality-of-life index of 174 nations surveyed.

The report says that, despite the country's economic success, 15.3 per cent of the population is living in "human poverty".

Illiteracy levels are also rocketing in a country which has an extraordinary budget surplus of pounds 4.5million.

A staggering 23 per cent - one in four - of the population can't read a bill or follow the instructions on a medicine bottle.

Last night, Fine Gael social affairs spokesman Jim O'Keefe TD called on the government to "examine its conscience" in the light of the report.

The shock report gives a staggering interpretation of Ireland's much hyped economic prowess.

And for the first time in years, the country has fallen in its social progress ranking.

The country also has one of the highest rates - 7.1 per cent - of long-term unemployment.

Last night the government tried to put a brave face on the embarrassing report.

Social Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said: "It is very welcome to see Ireland is in the top 20 countries in the world in terms of human development.

"But the data on human poverty provide an essential counterpoint to the many reports on economic boom.

"We all must play our part to avoid a two-tier society."

However, last night Fine Gael went on the offensive and slammed the government's record on tackling poverty.

"The UN report further highlights there are massive inequalities in wealth distribution," said the party's social affairs spokesman.

"A new approach is necessary.

"We must be prepared to spend more of the fruits of our economic good fortune on the less well off in our society," added Mr O'Keefe.

TOP 20 QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX

1. Canada

2. Norway

3. United States

4. Japan

5. Belgium

6. Sweden

7. Australia

8. Netherlands

9. Iceland

10. Britain

11. France

12 Switzerland

13. Finland

14. Germany

15. Denmark

16. Austria

17. Luxembourg

18. New Zealand

19. Italy

20. Ireland
COPYRIGHT 1999 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Michael, Neil
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 13, 1999
Words:377
Previous Article:TRIMBLE: I'M STILL UNHAPPY; Unionist doubts over Blair deal.
Next Article:TRIMBLE WARNS OF 'PROBLEMS' WITH BLAIR DEAL; Weapons fears put unionists on edge.


Related Articles
City Slickers: Sales up a gear to beat car records.
RAB: I'LL LISTEN TO CELTS.
CELTIC TIGER SHUNS WEST.
We're on rich AND poor list.
Irish Daily Mirror Comment: Don't waste this wealth.
Football: Now you're kidding on! STUNNER FOR FANS AS MARTIN IS TOLD TO PLAY YOUNGSTERS.
Irish Daily Mirror Comment: Charity is a true tradition for all at Xmas.
Dragons give a bit extra.
'Greedy' Ireland attacked.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters