Shocking statistics on levels of child poverty in NI

July 23, 2013

Child Poverty Action Group has published estimates of the costs to the economy and government generated by child poverty rates in every Northern Ireland Parliamentary constituency. This is part of a wider exercise covering local authorities and MP constituencies throughout the United Kingdom. The estimates, produced by Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, are contained in a new report on how local authorities are trying to tackle child poverty at a time of social security cuts and upheaval. The report, Local Authorities and Child Poverty: Balancing Threats with Opportunities, is aimed at helping local authorities fulfil their obligations under the Child Poverty Act to implement effective local child poverty strategies.

Les Allamby, Director of Law Centre (NI), stated: ‘The figures for Northern Ireland are shocking, with almost 100,000 children living below the relative poverty line at a cost of over £1 billion in extra costs of providing additional public services and other support, lost tax receipts from people earning less and more adults spending time out of work from having grown up in poverty. This is a wake up call to start acting now to improve the lives of the next generation.‘We already know that many aspects of welfare reform, including the spare room tax, the benefit cap and increased sanctions will make life more difficult for families who are out of work. Northern Ireland has an opportunity to do things differently and avoid many of the pitfalls created by welfare reform in Britain.‘Ensuring our welfare reform bill protects families both in and out of work is an essential first building block in tackling child poverty.’

Link to the report: http://www.lawcentreni.org/Publications/News/CPAG-local-authorities-child-pov-0713.pdf