The fair distribution of resources and equal access to good quality social services is essential for a country’s citizens. Our notions of poverty have varied over time and across countries for some it is living on less than 1 dollar a day, in other countries it is a more complex calculation. In Ireland the National Anti-Poverty Strategy defines, “People are living in poverty, if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living, which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society.”
The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has since the 1980s commented on poverty and inequality and its importance to people living in dignity. Furthermore, the relationship between poverty, inequality, deprivation, homelessness, poor health and so forth is very real.