Over 13,000 children and families affected by poverty last year

Barnardos is calling on the government to invest in public services to address the issue

Barnardos says it worked with 13,100 children and families affected by poverty in 2015.

New figures released by the charity today show that since the general election, about 300 children have become homeless.

Head of Advocacy, June Tinsley said: "Barnardos worked with more children and families than ever in 2015.

“In the four months since the General Election there have been more than 14,000 referrals to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and parents have, on average, forked out €2,672 on full time childcare per child."

The charity has called on the government to act now to support those children who have been unaffected by the 'so-called' economic recovery.

She told Newstalk: "Child poverty is destroying childhoods. We know this and the politicians know this and yet not enough is being done to tackle this issue.

"It's very clear that this government aims to build a fairer Ireland, and Barnardos certainly believes that in order to do that we need to invest in quality effective public services which we have not been doing to date."

The charity is calling on the government to invest in public services and not cut taxes.

Tinsley added, “As an example; a 1% cut in USC would cost the State over €300 million and mean just €4 extra per week in the pocket of someone on €40,000.

"For the same money the Government could introduce a subsidised system of childcare and make primary education free for all children.”