42% of children in north Lurgan 
living in poverty

More than 40% of children in north Lurgan are living in poverty, according to statistics issued by the End Child Poverty Coalition.

Researched by the End Child Poverty Coalition, the report found 42% of children in the Drumnamoe area were living in poverty.

Sinn Fein Councillor Liam Mackle said the figures were alarming and urged those in power to tackle the problem.

Craigavon ward of Drumgask also had a high level of child poverty at 40% way above the 21% average in the borough.

Cllr Mackle pointed out that eight of the 26 wards in Craigavon have child poverty levels above 30%.

The Church ward has 38%, Drumgor 37%, Ballybay 36% and Court has 33%.

The figures were revealed in the End-Child-Poverty Coalition report.

The 150 strong Coalition carried out extensive research into the issue and their report is available at www.endchildpoverty.org.

Cllr Mackle explained that as well as providing overall statistics the web site gives access to child poverty figures at Local Government Ward level via an interactive map.

“The statistics contained in this report make alarming reading and should cause concern to everyone in the Borough. Eight out of Craigavon’s twenty six Local Government wards have child poverty levels of 30% or greater.

The Sinn Féin Councillor called on both Central and Local Government to act now to address this ‘shocking’ problem.

“Both the Assembly and Council have a duty to promote equality of opportunity and they need to take urgent action to address these unacceptable levels of child poverty.

“We have to examine the disparity that allows 93% of children in one ward to live in relative wealth whilst in a neighbouring ward the figure falls to 58%.

“Jobs and improved living standards are a priority in addressing the problem and a concerted effort by council and others to introduce social and business investments programmes into these areas is needed now.

“A situation where almost one in every two children is living in poverty within any area cannot be tolerated.”

In Craigavon the estimated number of children in poverty in 2012 was 4985 - the overall estimated percentage of children in poverty in 2012 is 21%.