McCrossan: New approach needed to tackle child poverty

daniel mccrossan Child poverty

SDLP Opposition Communities Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has said that the Executive must produce a new strategy to tackle child poverty.

He was speaking after a Northern Ireland Audit Office report found one in five children are living in relative poverty.

It also found there has been little reduction in child poverty levels over the past eight years.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:

“This audit office report makes clear that little progress has been made in reducing child poverty across the North over the last decade. We are still in a situation where far too many children are going without enough to eat and living in unsuitable housing without basic amenities and this is having a detrimental impact on their prospects later in life.

“As a result of living in poverty children are experiencing poorer health, not reaching their full potential in school and even living shorter lives. Poverty is still a scourge on far too communities here and these children and their families are being failed. Challenges around the cost of living crisis have put additional pressures on families and the lack of adequate childcare support is also impacting many parents' ability to work full-time, but the Executive policy around tackling poverty hasn’t worked and a new approach is needed.

“To get to grips with these issues we need a child poverty strategy with binding targets and proper resources. Ministers and departments need to work together and face their responsibilities when it comes to this important issue. The SDLP Opposition has also been vocal on the need for a general anti-poverty strategy, which the Executive has a legal duty to introduce. We have already raised this directly with Communities Minister Gordon Lyons and these strategies will be key in ensuring that our young people and families across the North no longer have to struggle or live in poverty..”


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