Eirigi voice concern over Child Poverty report figures

Newry Times News Posted by
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Over 80,000 children in the Six Counties are living in poverty, according to a new report published on January 10th. The report, produced by the Campaign to End Child Poverty, found that over 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line – the point at which families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating and clothing. That figure rises to over 2 in 5 in West Belfast (where 46 per cent of children live in poverty) and North Belfast (41 per cent), with Derry close behind at 36 per cent and Newry & Mourne coming in at 25 per cent.

The report also reveals that there are now more children in households without work and in households where only some of the adults have jobs. Commenting on the report, éirígi condemned the dire situation in which more and more families are finding themselves. A spokesperson for the party said, “It’s disgraceful that families are being forced to choose between feeding themselves or heating their homes, and it’s a situation that’s more common than many people are willing to admit.”

He continued, “This already intolerable situation will only worsen as our communities feel the bite of the Tory cuts agenda. People in work are having their pay frozen or reduced and people in receipt of benefits are finding these slashed. Add to this that more people are finding that their income cannot keep up with inflation and it’s clear that many families are struggling to afford even the basics. The cabinet of millionaires in Westminster will not have to face these circumstances, neither will the Stormont politicians who are just getting by on their £43,000-a-year ‘poverty’ pay.”

The spokesperson concluded “The most vulnerable are suffering the most from the regressive economic policies of the Tories. This sorry state of affairs will continue only as long as people allow it. Workers are facing further attacks on pay and conditions, and people on benefits and tax credits will see all of these schemes cut as the British government and its Stormont administration continue with their austerity economics. Now is the time to say ‘No more’ so we don’t condemn yet another generation of children to a poverty-ridden existence.”

Newry Times recently covered the issue of child poverty in Newry and Mourne, click here to read the article.

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