THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

100,000 Northern Ireland children living in poverty

Child Poverty a matter of grave concern says Workers' Party

Paddy Lynn
Paddy Lynn

The Workers’ Party has expressed grave concern at figures released by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister which indicate that in 2006/07 22% of all children in the province -96,000 children- were living in relative poverty.  Party spokesman, Paddy Lynn, said that since the credit crunch began to hit hardest in 2008, the real figures today are probably much higher. He pointed to research from Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, which believes the number of children living in poverty — defined as children living in a family with an income of under 16,224 after housing costs — is even higher.

“We also have a report released late last year  by, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which highlighted Northern Ireland as a worse case example twice as many children and young people  here are living in ‘persistent poverty’ as in the rest of the United Kingdom.”

“Those who argue that the state is ‘too big’ in Northern Ireland and argue that cutbacks and privatisation are the only answer to the economic crisis should consider these appalling figures,” Mr Lynn continued. “What is needed here is a real commitment by the government to the provision of jobs, and services which will both boost the economy and better the lives of our people. If people began to vote according to their class interests instead of according to sectarian affiliation, we might see the poor and marginalised finally having a voice in Stormont, and Westminster”
 
Issued 13th February 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics