SINN Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has said under investment from the British government has fueled child poverty in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
She was speaking following a report ‘Campaign to End Child Poverty’ was published along with a Child Poverty Map released by children’s charity Barnardo’s revealing that child poverty in the North is some of the highest on record.
Ms McGahan said: “These figures, indicating that areas in the North including Fermanagh South Tyrone have some of the highest levels of child poverty are unfortunately not surprising.
“For decades these wards have seen huge underinvestment by successive British governments in terms of job creation, housing, infrastructural investment and other such factors that affect the quality of life for the people living here.
“Under the Child Poverty Act the British government are obliged to end child poverty by 2020. The stark reality though is that with the current policies being pursued by the Tory led coalition these targets could be difficult to reach and the problem is likely to be exacerbated
“While the Executive is facing this problem head on with a programme for government commitment aimed at eradicating child poverty, they are constrained by the severe British cuts of over 4bn to the block grant along with issues such as the Welfare Reform bill, higher taxes on fuel increasing fuel poverty and decreased public spending.
She added: “However measures from the Executive include the development of a poverty outcomes model along with the progressing of a child poverty action plan, in conjunction with the Poverty and Social Inclusion stakeholder forum, which is working to deliver a number of signature projects that would alleviate child poverty.”