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Report reveals NI child poverty

03-08-2007

Report reveals NI child poverty

03/08/2007 UTV News


A new report reveals that child poverty in Northern Ireland is even worse than first feared, with 120,000 youngsters suffering hardship.

Nearly a third (29%) of their lives are blighted with inadequacy, according to Government research.

The alarming levels were disclosed in a study which also showed more than half of the population here have incomes below £300 a week.

Horrified campaigners demanded immediate Government intervention after studying the Department of Social Development findings.

Alex Tennant, Save the Children`s Head of Policy and Research, said: "The estimate of 100,000 children in poverty in Northern Ireland was a matter of grave concern, requiring urgent action.

"To hear today that a more accurate figure is 120,000 children experiencing poverty is deeply shocking and should act as a spur to our politicians to prioritise action on child poverty."

Ms Tennant accepted the statistical changes do not definitely mean child poverty is on the rise.

But she stressed: "What is very clear is that the numbers are higher than had previously been thought and have not decreased over the past four years."

The DSD report, Households Below Average Income, Northern Ireland, revealed new details on potential living standards based on disposable income in 2005-06.

With earning distribution skewed towards the lower end, it showed the west of the province was most at risk.

Derry and Dungannon appeared to be the worst affected, while low income threats were least for those in Banbridge and Lisburn.

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